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Question; for the first time EVER my Girls are going to get flea treatments. The fleas are just horrid this year and I can’t seem to get ahead of them. Frontline seems to get positive reviews… Have you any suggestions ? Have you used Frontline ?

Since Miz Poo and Sugarbutt both have allergies to fleas, we alternate between Advantage and Frontline every three weeks for all the cats. They both seem to work really well, I can’t remember the last time I saw a flea in the house. We have to use it year-round here due to the mild winters, though I’ll admit that in the coldest part of the year we usually go to treating them once a month instead of every three weeks.

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Stinkerbelle is perfect where she is sitting. Kiss The CAT!!!

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Would you believe I didn’t even notice that when I snapped the picture? It wasn’t ’til I was looking through the pictures that I saw that!

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One thing I just realized that you deliver as a bonus with any of the kitties that have graduated from the Crooked Acres Finishing School for Proper Young Kitties: they are quite accustomed to being photographed by the time they leave your care!

So true! Fosters tend to be a little freaked out by the sound of the camera at first, but by the time they’re ready to head off and be adopted, I swear they start to do something and then turn around to look at me like “You might want to grab your camera for this.”

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I noticed you’re using Cats Pride Fresh & Light litter and was curious how you like it. I recently switched to it (from Arm & Hammer) & so far I like it better. It seems to clump just as well, and isn’t nearly as dusty. Downside is not everyone has it & I have to drive 40 miles to the closest Pet Smart to get it.

I really like the Fresh & Light litter, but it doesn’t have the long-lasting odor-reducing power of the much, much, MUCH dustier Fresh Step. So at this point, I use a mixture of Fresh Step, Fresh & Light, and Cat Attract litter in all the litter boxes. I only use a thin layer of Fresh Step in the bottom, fill the box almost the rest of the way with Fresh & Light, and then a thin layer of Cat Attract on the top. I add Cat Attract to all the litter boxes on Fridays, and every three weeks the litter boxes are emptied, scrubbed, and refilled with fresh litter. (I have a staggered schedule so that the trash guys aren’t overloaded with all that litter.) (Okay, I’m SUPPOSED TO have a staggered schedule, but I’m not great at it, so sometimes the trash guys curse my name, I’m sure.)

We get our Fresh & Light at Walmart. Fred tends to go to Walmart very early on Saturday mornings, so I ask him to pick up a couple of boxes for me. I get my Fresh Step at Sam’s (40 lbs, less than $12. I wish it wasn’t so DUSTY!), and I have to stock up on Cat Attract when Petsmart’s having a sale.

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I knew I’d seen a picture of Fred with a bird on his shoulder, but I just remembered where. It’s on his Amazon author page!

I knew he was using it SOMEWHERE, I just couldn’t remember where. I was thinking it was on Twitter, and a quick check of his Twitter profile just now shows that he is using it over there, too. I guess he likes that picture. πŸ™‚

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Had to share this with you and I’m so glad this doesn’t happen at my house!

That cracks me UP! (I’m glad it doesn’t happen at my house, too!)

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I just shared with my husband the bit about being able to introduce a new chicken to the flock overnight. He wants to know: if you introduce a new hen during the day and the flock rejects her, do they remember the next morning that they rejected her or do they still wake up and think she was always there?

I would suspect that yes, they’d still think she was always there. But to be honest, we’ve introduced new chickens to the flock during the day, and haven’t had issues. I wonder if that’s because we have so many of them that they just don’t know who’s new and who isn’t!

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Fred’s Chicken on the shoulder pix rock! I would be so scared it would peck my eye out. Chicken Whisperer=Fred.

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That chicken was actually one of the friendliest chickens we’ve ever had. He let Fred pick him up all the time, and never squawked or fought. We named him Mr. Friendly.

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Call me a skimmer, but what’s up with Rupert’s ear? I’m probably a panicky weirdo, but it looks like pictures I’ve seen of skin cancer on white cats.

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We had it tipped so that anyone who sees him wandering around will know that he’s been neutered. When we had him neutered and tipped, we thought he was feral and might end up moving along, but now we know better! In the pictures and video, his ear hadn’t completely healed, there was some dried blood on the end.

Speaking of Rupert, last weekend Fred’s parents stopped by for a few minutes. Fred wanted them to see Rupert (oh, Fred is SO in love with Rupert, he thinks he’s the most beautiful boy EVER), so he picked Rupert up and carried him over to his parents, and Rupert just sat there in Fred’s arms, completely unconcerned that there were strangers petting him. Yeah, totally feral cat we’ve got there, huh?

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Do you remember which seller(s) on Etsy for the baskets? What are the approximate dimensions and approximate costs? Thanks!

It was Wexford Treasures, and the basket that Corbie’s in measures 4.5β€³ high, 15β€³ across the top, and base 10β€³ wide diameter. That basket cost $32.99, but she’s got other sizes for other prices. The one that Darwin is in (in the post for May 25th) is slightly bigger – 4.5β€³ high, 17β€³ across the top, and base 12β€³wide diameter – and cost two dollars more. They’re really well made baskets, and the cats love them!

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OK so here’s my question: I have this fancy wool rug that I spent a lot of money on and for whatever reason, my cats LOVE rolling around on it and pulling out the threads. It is MAKING ME CRAZY. I tried the no-scratch sprays and they seem to LOVE the scent, as it gets a lot worse after I treat the rugs. Maybe I should set up a Blender Defender near the rug!!! Sheesh. Anybody have any tips to keep jerk cats from ruining your wool rugs?

That is an excellent question, and I have no suggestions aside from rolling up the rug and stashing it in the garage, because cats are jerks.

Readers, suggestions? (I do like the blender defender idea, and only ask that you set up a camera to document the scaring of the cats!)

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Just curious… how many chickens do y’all have now?

According to Fred, we have about 75ish at the moment.

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Gracie in the second picture looks like this face.

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HA – yes, indeed, she does!

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I got a quick update on Emmy yesterday. She is doing fine, and spending lots of time hanging out on top of the hay in the barn. She seems happy and is eating. She’s not having a lot to do with the other cats, but she seems okay with their existence.

Tina told me that when she let Emmy out of the carrier, Emmy went after her and tried to attack her. I guess girlfriend had had ENOUGH!

I’m so glad Emmy’s doing well!

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Darwin and Newbery on the cat tree in the front room.

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Doesn’t Darwin look thrilled to be a paw rest for her brother?

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So sweet, these two.

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Snoozin’ on the couch (I think Darwin was elsewhere).

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Sweet boy.

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Keeping an eye on things.

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Are you ready for this?

I don’t think you’re ready for this. You should probably sit down. Are you sitting?

Meet the new guys.

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Kennebec is a boy.

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Fianna (left) and Agata (right) are girls.

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Another shot of Agata.

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Norland is a boy.

I’m not sure you’re ready for this last picture, though. Seriously. Are you sitting down?

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Russet is a boy.

Russet and Norland are from one litter and are around 9 weeks old. They came from a litter of six that were (was?) found in the middle of the road. Another Challenger’s House foster family took the other three kittens. They are SUPER friendly boys, and absolutely full of energy. They both love to be petted and both start purring if you even look their way. SO sweet.

Kennebec, Fianna, and Agata were found near someone’s house without their mother. They are about 6 weeks old, and scared little scaredy cats. They were a bit hissy when I first got them home, but after a few hours they weren’t hissing and they let me pet them.
They weren’t necessarily ENJOYING being petted, but they were allowing it. I’m not worried about them, I sense that they’ll come around soon enough.

Collectively, this litter of kittens will be known as the Taters. Thank you to Smocha, who suggested the naming theme to me in May of 2010 (and probably doesn’t remember making the suggestion, it’s been so long!)

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“Who, me? Just rolling around on the concrete…”

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“…taking a bath…”

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“You got a problem with that?”


2011: Don’t you just love the little spotted belly?
2010: “Bleh. This mouse tastes funny.”
2009: Look at the little smile on her face!
2008: No entry.
2007: It appears that Sugarbutt got started on that nap without me.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



6-1-12 — 58 Comments

  1. You forgot to say “…looking handsome”, Corbie!

    Look at those Noms…what a life! Little sweet muffins.

    Eeeks! Orange tabbies and tabby tabbies OMG OMG OMG!!

  2. I see another visit to Crooked Acres soon to see those Taters. They are all so pretty!

  3. Dear Lord, those babies are cute! Gotta get me an orange tabbie someday! I just love them!

    Corbie is looking mighty handsome! Did he put on a few lbs? Love love love his face…and belly…and paws…and….

  4. Aww, the new guys are so cute! I love orange tabbies, like my parents almost 20 year old kitty. How we got her is a cute story. When we moved to a new city, I was 10 and I wanted a kitty. My dad hated cats, saying they hypocrits who couldn’t look you in the eyes (yeah, I don’t know either). So we got a dog. But three years later, he visited our neighbor, who lived on a farm, and he saw all their cats running around and hanging out near the front door. He took pity on them and he brought a little orange tabby home! I still remember seeing him coming in the kitchen with that little kitty on his shoulder. I was so happy!

    I love reading the old posts, Robyn! It makes me miss the kitties I liked the most, like Dorothy and the Spice Girls!

  5. those paws on Russet, he’s totally going to be a big boy when he grows up!

  6. Ooh, such pretty new babies! Don’t be frightened, darlings. You’ve landed in the good life.

  7. Tater Tots! Love ’em all, but that picture of Russet just kilt me dead!

  8. Eek! I think Russet may just be the most beautiful kitten I’ve ever seen. I want him!

  9. I don’t think my family (fur and otherwise) was quite prepared for the intensity of the squeal that subconsciously emanated from my body upon seeing the new kids. Babieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeessssssssssssss!!! I’m so jealous. (((For our friends on Penny-watch who are Facebook-free… Vet isn’t certain that Penny is pregnant after all. Big belly, but not feeling kittens. We’re in a wait-and-see cycle right now. So we might get kittens, we might not. In the meantime, I have a gorgeous purring calico in my front room.)))

    Yeah, that alarm clock? We call it the doorbell. My foster Tommy figured it out and rings it whenever he can’t get into my older daughter’s room at night. Freaked me OUT the first few times that it woke me out of a dead sleep. We removed it from the door for the duration of his stay. πŸ˜‰

    • Oh, and I forgot to say how refreshing it is to see a sweet orange cat. Mine is a bit of a jerk since we increased the cat count to four. Let’s just say all of those pee tips from earlier in the week are coming in handy. At least he’s decided to limit his “activity” to the unfinished basement. Makes it easier to locate and clean up after him. Jerk.

        • I shouldn’t completely blame it on Simba… might be foster Tommy. They “live and let live” everywhere in the house but the basement. These two have turned the basement into a territory to be fought over. I just know it isn’t dear old Norman. Not sure he’s ever even been down there.

          One thing I’ve heard is vinegar for the cleaning. The former owners of our house had two small dogs who used the upstairs as a crate at times. The professional carpet cleaner that came when we moved in said to always start with a half-vinegar/half-water solution and spritz it into the carpet to break down the odor after dabbing the stain out. I use vinegar to combat the smell (and I believe that I read somewhere, but don’t quote me on it, that the vinegar smell discourages the cat from returning to that spot).

    • My Lola “knocks” LOUDLY!! My husband thinks she is body slamming the door. I need to set up a video to see what she is actually doing.

  10. Russet I’m in love! Be care of Fianna as her name is a word for young warrior (of either gender) in Irish – sort of like naming a cat Loki or Princess; they can end up living up to their name lol. Of course, it is a great and noble name, I hope her forever home keeps it.

  11. All so beautiful. I have such a soft spot for orange tabbies though, so expect several visits from me as I check up on them.

  12. 1/ Totally agree with advantage and Frontline..simply the best flea treatments.
    2/ great news about Emmy
    3/ Id love to see what an ish of a chicken looks like!
    4/ Marmalade cats, you have three ginger pussys!!!! my favorite .

  13. Orange kitty with shockingly blue eyes??? Dangit, looks like I may be doing a roadtrip to drop TJ off in Alabama after all…

    Speaking of cats’ eyes, are Rupert’s eyes the same color? In some pictures they look the same, but in other pictures one looks more blue-ish than the other. Probably just shadows and all, but still wondering.

    To piggyback onto the question about keeping cats away from wool rugs, if anyone has any suggestions for trimming down the little tufts they’ve pulled up, I’m all ears. Fabric shavers (like this one: http://www.kaboodle.com/reviews/compact-fabric-shaver ) don’t work because they’re designed to separate little pills of floof, and this is something where I need to actually trim the bits of carpet the cats have clawed out. I also tried an electric shaver (like for legs) and a set of dog-grooming clippers with no luck. I know I need to just give up on the rug as a lost cause – they’ll lie right next to the scratching posts and pads that I set out, and scratch the carpet instead – but I really like it and am not ready to let go of it just yet…

    Oh, almost forgot: I’ve never seen the doorstopper mounted to the actual door before. Every house I’ve lived in, they’re mounted to the wall – and in a few houses, they were mounted up high, at the level of the top of the door. Having seen that video, I understand why!

    • You know, you have a point – I never thought about that, but doorstops are usually mounted to the wall, aren’t they. Interesting! (I have no rug tips for you, only the words of wisdom that cats are jackasses sometimes. πŸ™‚ )

      • When I saw the video, I wondered why it was mounted on the door. With it being an interior door, that means it is hollow core also. I would just move it to the baseboard…..

  14. So, I was doing my usual reading of Robyn’s entries and smiling and then…

    Oh Emmy. Don’t you understand that Tina was helping? I guess that’s why you’re a beautiful barn cat instead of a beautiful house cat! At any rate, I’m glad your happy and has found your place!

    So, I kept reading and then… and then… and then I saw the first Tater.

    OH MY!

    Look at those blue eyes!!

    This must be your cutest batch yet, Robyn! I’m sure they’re going to be fun, too!

    Thanks for brightening up my day as usual, Robyn!

    • I think I forgot to mention that Tina said she’d been petting Emmy through the bars of the carrier, and Emmy was letting her, so when Emmy came out swinging it was a complete surprise to poor Tina!

  15. Russet!!! OMG!!! He is absolutely gorgeous! And yes… those feet… he’s going to be a big boy! So Robyn, are the Noms kept seperate from these new babes or do you have one big nursery going and they all play together?

    • The Noms have the run of the house during the day and are in the guest bedroom (downstairs) at night, and the Taters are in the foster bedroom upstairs. The Taters need to be sequestered for at least a week – preferably two – before they’re exposed to the other cats. But Russet and Norland are SO energetic that I’m considering closing off the upstairs to the other cats so they’ll have more room to race around.


    (That got me commenting after about eleven years of reading your journal.)

  17. So let me see. I get off work around 3:30 , drive home, pack a couple of road trip items, get on 65 South by 4:30 pm. Be at Robyn’s in approximately 13 hours (give or take). Pay money, grab Russet, get back on the road. Russet and I could be back in Indy by this time tomorrow, give or take. I think the plan works. See you about 5:30 am tomorrow morning Robyn. I will bring donuts and coffee. You supply the Russet!

  18. I love the new batch of babies !!!! I really have a soft spot for marmalades !!! Looking forward to seeing more pictures and videos of the antics that I’m sure are happening as I write this. Have a great weekend Robyn. Give all the kitties you can get a hold of a chin scritch and kiss on the head or tummy kiss(which on kittens are the best !).

    and a floofy one to boot

    oh this litter <3 <3 <3
    (not to say i didnt <3 the others just as much, i'm just a sucker for orange kitties)

  20. Three orange tabbies are making my day too! I love them all but have a soft spot for the marmalade ones too. Need more pics to decide who steals my heart the most! It’s fun knowing they are coming soon!

    My dogs are having big excitement today. I spotted a beautiful older yellow lab loose on our back street. I called to him and he wouldn’t come. I ran back inside for some cold cuts. He was two houses down but followed quick on my heels when he saw what I had. I was able to lure him into our large fenced in back yard. He has a collar with ID and a bandanna(homemade) that our groomer uses so I knew he was well cared for. He lives on the nearest cross street. I called both numbers on the brass ID tag on his collar. No answer at the first and the second-cell number picked up. It turns out the couple is at the hospital, the husband answered. His wife is having a procedure. He said he’s come as soon as he can. I told him to take his time. I’m leaving the dog outside because my dogs are giving him a hard time. Ruby the cocker was ridiculous. I think the little dogs always are. He’s on our tiny deck by the back door. My dogs are at the atrium door staring at him. Ollie is whining. I think he wants to play with him but it was getting wild and the other dog looked overwhelmed. There are thunderstorms coming. I hope they hold out until that poor man can get his sweet old guy. What a day he must be having!

    • Update: The couple’s teenage daughter came and got the dog before the thunderstorm hit! My dogs are out sniffing out the yard. Ollie is not a leg lifter and that dog was. I hope Ollie isn’t peeing on the flowers too! Oh well the rain will wash the pee off! I’m glad Rascal the sweet old yellow lab is back home with his people where he belongs.

  21. Those babies are the absolute cutest. I’m having trouble deciding which one I would take if I had my druthers. Most likely one of the orange tabbies, since we already have a brown tabby, and I’d like to collect a complete set.

  22. Am I the only one who took a FULL HOUR before the bell rang on the Tater naming theme? I guess I am too much a city girl. And right now I wish my city were closer…I’d be at the door to visit the blue-eyed orinch boys and the delightful brown-eyed brown tabbies and to snorgle the Noms one more time before they are all speedily adopted! And I would wave to sweet Emmy who has found her place in the world at last…and give treats to all of the permanent population, take a tour of the grounds, greet Georgie and Gracie, compliment Fred on his book, and finally sit down with you, Robyn, and ask how you deal with all the cute everyday!

    • Oh good lord, I can’t believe I didn’t explain the naming theme! DUH. Hey, if I didn’t know I’d named them after types of potatoes, I wouldn’t have gotten it either. πŸ™‚

  23. Still love Newberry the bestest, but Agata comes in a close second! Glad to hear Emmy is doing well.

  24. Yes, the two new batches are delectable, but the Noms — those kittens have reached the absolute apex of adorable! (But don’t tell my two perms I wrote such a thing…) Robyn, I saw a Stinkerbelle lookalike in an ASPCA adoption van this afternoon. Her name was a just a spot more dignified: Cleopatra. Hope she, like all kitties in need, will find an adoring slave soonest.

  25. gasp…
    can’t catch my brefffth…

    KI-TT-HEeHHHen sssssss !!!!!

    Oh, the maximum of Cuutyiness !!!


  26. Squee! I adopted a female orange tabby today. She has “sooty” front arms and some on her body. Looks like she has been in the chimney.

  27. Seriously Robyn, that photo of Russet is professional grade, calendar stuff. Extremely well done. Took my breath away.

  28. Dear lawd… I have always wanted an orange cat. It’s a darn good thing I don’t live near you because I don’t NEED another cat! But dang… Russet is just about perfect!

  29. Those are some seriously gorgeous, calendar-worthy kittehs! So purty they almost look photo-shopped!

    • (Of course, every time you have a new batch I think THEY are the cutest ever. But that Russet…wow.)

  30. Don’t worry if Russet goes missing one day. It just means I made it to Alabama to catnap him. πŸ˜‰

  31. Tabby kittehs! Great pictures (as always) of your newbies, Robyn! πŸ˜€

  32. Oh, my! Kennebec’s bright blue eyes got me! Of course, I love the tabbies, too! They’re all pretty much adorable….

  33. Hi Robyn… I introduced your blog to my sister Fri night during a marathon “like only sisters can do” telephone call and I spent quite some time giving her the tour… When we got to your naming the litter routine, she suggested Constellations in the sky! Maybe it’s already been done, but was worth a shout out ~ not to mention I needed just ONE MORE LOOK (only one!!!) at Russet!