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So, the news segment went pretty well – I was SO nervous, but Bev (from the North Alabama Spay Neuter Clinic) helped to put me at ease. It went quickly and Razzie and Logie were adorable. I ended up bringing those two because they were the two who were most alert when I showed up at Petsmart (Darwin and Newbery were both snoozing and not inclined to get up). I put pink harnesses on them both, put them in the carrier, and off we went.

The 4:00 news on WAAY shoots at the Monaco Theater at Bridge Street in Huntsville (a new, VERY nice shopping complex), and there were lots of people milling around. I met up with Bev, and we talked (about cats, of course), and before I knew it, it was time to be on the news! Razzie was particularly cute, and Logie was cute too, though she mostly didn’t want anything to do with whatever was going on.

You can see the segment here, and it’s embedded below.

Edited to add: It’s no longer available. Sorry you missed the magic.

My favorite parts, the ones where I have mocked myself mercilessly since Friday afternoon, are the one where I started to say that Challenger’s House is a limited admission shelter, said “edition” instead of “admission” and then had to stumble for what felt like a year before the word “admission” came wandering into my brain. Also, I clearly could not remember Razzie’s name, which is TERRIBLE, but in my defense we always called her “Stumpy” at home. And lastly, when the reporter said that adopting a cat is not to be taken lightly, the raised-eyebrow, nod-nod-nod response from me makes me laugh out loud. I was clearly all “THAT IS RIGHT, MEREDITH, YOU ARE CORRECT! HA HA!”

Meredith Woods was so adorable that I wanted to stick her in my pocket and bring her home. (Also, we had no idea that that graphic was up so long, so y’all missed the utterly adorable close-up of Razzie licking Bev. SO CUTE.)

And ironically, Darwin was the one who was adopted on Saturday! I sure hope the other three are adopted soon. Fingers crossed!

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Stompers, “nursing” on the cat bed. When he and Kennebec, Agata, and Fianna get going, it’s quite the sight to see.

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“Why my eyes gotta change? I wanted them to stay blue!”

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Norland loves that frayed cord hanging down from the top of the cedar scratching post.

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“Who, me? Sucking on the bed? Nope, wasn’t me!”

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Tell me that grumpy boy doesn’t totally have a monkey face there.

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Fianna’s tellin’ me how it is.

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Stompers seems to be worried about something.

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So, back when I had Starsky and Hutch (now Percy and Jack), I had this little piece of blanket that came with a Snoozzy fleece blanket. They would both try to nurse on the blanket, and I thought I’d try sewing a couple of bottle nipples into the little piece of blanket and see if they’d use it as a pacifier. They never did (they preferred the blanket itself or the fleece cat beds), but when Kennebec started trying to nurse on my hand, I got the little piece of blanket with the sewn-in nipples out and offered it to him. He’s not interested in the nipples, but he loves the corners of the blanket.

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Fianna gets in her daily cardboard requirement.

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“Just hanging out. Not gonna suck on that cat bed, nope.”

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Pardon the graininess of the picture. Floofypants loves to lay flat on his stomach like this, and it always cracks me up.

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Poor Brandywine. These kittens follow her around, howling, all the time. It’s like she’s being followed by her own crowd of stalkers.

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“Do you see this?”

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She takes a short break, but then comes back down.

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If she stops for a moment, the little monsters latch right on.

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“Seriously. Do you SEE this?”

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Pretty girl.

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She gives in.

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The look she’s giving me is cracking me up.

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She’s up again!

We started giving Brandywine a break from the brats this weekend. Saturday, we put her in Fred’s room with a litter box and food and water for the morning. That went well, so Sunday we moved her over around 9, and left her ’til 5. That went well, too, so it’s going to be a daily thing. She’ll hang out in Fred’s room during the day, then back to the foster room at night.

One thing I’ve noticed is that when she’s not in the foster room with the babies, they are a WHOLE lot less shrieky. They climb into my lap and let me pet and kiss them, then they run off to play with each other and circle back around for more petting.

So, in short, it’s going well. Brandywine is a sweet girl who, when she doesn’t have babies hanging all over her and screaming, loves to be petted and to give headbutts. She’d dearly love to be out in the house – she rushes the door every time we open it – but none of us are ready for that just yet, that’s for sure.

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Oh good lord, you’ve caught Sheriff Mama’s attention. She’s coming to give you what-for. You better run!


2011: No entry.
2010: Elwood’s all β€œNope! No room in the basket! No room for a little kitten! Sorry! Move along!”
2009: Gone campin’.
2008: Kaylee would like you to know it’s a rough, rough life.
2007: Now, the Snuggle Sack has some of that crinkly stuff in it so that when a cat climbs in, it crinkles.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



6-25-12 — 67 Comments

  1. Wee monsieur floofypants seems to be missing some of his bones. Plz locate and re-attach kthx.

    Ha ha, Brandywine! She’s like, “EACH of these leeches is HALF MY SIZE. Can’t they take a bottle or something?”

  2. Myr Floofy Pants…come be my kitty. That butt is beyond cute!

    Kara has the most arse-kick’n look on her face! πŸ™‚

  3. Well, no wonder Dingwall Scotty got smooshed the other day. If they all start nursing before mama lays down, she’s got to land somewhere! Mama Brandywine’s big round eyes and bat-like ears give her a look of constant surprise, even when she shouldn’t be… as in “They’re doing this AGAIN??”

    We had a blanket nurser when I was a kid. He never grew out of it. He nursed a blanket, his own back toes, and Barbie doll feet. No, we didn’t tease him. Not one little bit. πŸ˜‰

    Not to be all self-promotional, but you might want to head over to my blog this morning. A certain old man black kitty cat is waiting there to meet you… http://whiskersinthewindow.blogspot.com/ ((And now I’ll shush about it. I just know many of you mentioned interest in him))

    • Kelly, I can read your blog but am unable to comment there. πŸ™ For some reason it doesn’t recognize my WordPress account, which seems common with the Blogger sites. Norman is a very handsome chap!

        • Kelly, I can’t comment either, so Robyn will have to put up with my saying that Norm is definitely all that and a bag of chips, not least because he’d happily swipe said bag. But seriously, he’s a dear and so are his housemates!

          • Thank you, Kerry. Not being entirely blog-literate yet, I’m not sure I understand what the commenting issue is and how to get around it. I’m glad you enjoyed reading it, though. I certainly am having fun putting it together!

    • NORM! πŸ™‚

      Dingwall Scotty seems to have a knack for hanging out on the wrong side of Brandywine so that when she lays down, she’s on top of him. He seems none the worse for wear, though. Maybe he’s used to it.

  4. Speaking of orange kittens, we were at the local Petsmart here and they had probably a dozen kittens up front…. 8-9 of which were orange! Such sweet babies!

  5. I sent a note to Challenger House this weekend to see if I can start the process to adopt Stompers when he’s ready. We’ve got one young cat currently who has been missing her big sister since she passed. I never thought I’d fall in love with a kitten online, but our whole family has been in love with him since you first introduced him. We’ll be keeping our fingers crossed! Reading about all your sweet fosters is such a wonderful way to start each day. Thank you for sharing them!

  6. Well look at you Miss TV Star. You looked great. And you did great. I would have not been able to say a single word. I wish they could have done closeups though. Cute as you are, it is really the whiskers on the camera lens that sells kittens. I would never have noticed the raised eyebrow thing until you mentioned it. I like that they totally ignore the huge dog mascot just standing there. Too funny.

    • Bev told me that the week before, a kid walked up and punched the mascot in the nose and the reporter went out and grabbed him and made him come inside and apologize! I wish I’d seen that. πŸ™‚

  7. I thought you did a great job. I barely noticed the parts you mentioned! And yes, Razzie was a total star. Such a cutie. I hope those little Noms get adopted soon.

    Still can’t get over Brandywine. She’s gorgeous, and I’m glad she’s getting some alone time — she needs to fatten up a little more without those babies around, sucking the life out of her!

  8. You were great! If you hadn’t pointed out the edition/admission and Stumpy/Razzie flubs, I never would have noticed them. I was too busy giggling at Bev’s unintentional insinuation that getting spayed and neutered is good for YOU, not just your pet.

    When my dad brought home a stray kitten that had wandered into his office at work, for some reason that little boy only wanted to hang out with me. (He’s now not so little and ONLY loves his daddy – so much for gratitude.) He can’t have been more than 5 weeks old or so and I would wake up every morning with hickeys – hickeys! – on my neck. I wanted to name him Vlad the Impaler because of his neck-suckling tendencies. Thankfully he grew out of that. (But not until after he had attempted to nurse on the nipples of one very alarmed family dog.)

      • We had adopted an adorable sickly tuxedo cat whom we named Scarlet O’Hara from a local shelter. She convinced herself that Sadie, our first basset hound, was her wet nurse. Poor Sadie! We had to buy Bitter Apple and apply it to Sadie’s nipples to stop it. Scarlet always loved Sadie and Sadie mostly tolerated her.

        • I have a photo of Niko, approximately 16 months old, together with Murphy, approximately 4 months old. Murphy, who was dropped off at the pound after being dumped on someone’s property, probably was weaned too early. Anyway, he’s attempting to nurse on Niko, complete with kneading paws, and Niko’s giving the camera a world-weary look.

          • P.S. These two cats are now 12 and 11 and no longer have such an intimate relationship. πŸ™‚

        • My (long-deceased) cat Sushi was probably too young when I got her (I suspect the lady lied about their ages, and I was 19 and clueless about kittens), and she had not quite finished weaning when we took her home with us. Our 9-10 month old dog, Mickey (female), had a bit of an adjustment period with the kitten – who was part Siamese, and therefore batshit crazy – but one day I looked over and Sushi was nursing at Mickey! At first I laughed and took pictures, then I tried to break them up every time I saw it, and finally I had to take Mickey to the vet, because she started producing milk. When I explained about the nursing to the vet, she laughed and laughed, but said just to let them be, that Sushi would grow out of the habit by the time she was a year or so old, or else Mickey would get fed up with it and lay down the law before then.

          I have a picture somewhere around here of a ~8 year old cat nursing a ~9 year old dog, both of them just as blissful as could be. I can’t remember which of them died first, but THAT was what it took for the nursing to stop. It was uncomfortable to explain when with had company over, but for the most part, it seemed to make them both happy, so rock on!

  9. I think the TV spot was “spot-on”! (Sorry, couldn’t resist!) Really – You looked and sounded fine. and you got the message out about the kittens up for adoption which was the point. And Razzie and Logie both looked great!

    So about this sucking on things – I’m assuming it’s not something to worry about? One of my fosters JUST started doing it a few days ago. Now every time she’s sleepy she kneads the blanket and sucks on it. Sweet but strange and I wasn’t certain if I should look for an underlying issue or not! I know they can do that when they’ve been taken away from momma too soon – but (a) I don’t think she was, and (b) she’s around 9 weeks old and just started it!

    Momma Brandywine is so pretty!!! Bless her heart – it’s time to wean those babies!!

    • My Cocoa was about 9 months old when I discovered him in my garage and shortly thereafter he was part of my family. For the first 6 months or so he sucked on one of his back feet. I’d heard that when they suck on something like that it’s because they were maybe weaned or taken from their mom too early. He eventually stopped on his own and never saw him do it again. He’s 18 pounds of love now and I’m not sure he could suck on that foot now even if he wanted to! I think the kneeding and sucking in your foster’s case could just be a sign of contentment and feeling safe.

    • A high school friend of mine had a cat that would get into the laundry baskets and suck on my friend’s dirty T-shirts. πŸ™‚

    • I think Lisa’s right, it’s just a self-soothing behavior. He may grow out of it, or it may be a lifelong thing, but it’s not anything to worry about.

      Sugarbutt used to come into the bed with me in the middle of the night and knead on my shoulder and lick my neck. It didn’t bother me – I’d often just sleep through it – so let him do it. He grew out of it when he was about three years old.

    • My 2 yr old still curls up in my arms, kneads against my right bicep and sucks on my shirt…yes, right on my right chest area. I end up with a little wetspot on my shirt. I don’t care, it seems to give him comfort so that is fine with me. Yes, I got him (rescue) very young. If my husband calls during this and asks “What are you doing?”, I respond with “Nursing Sidney.” πŸ™‚

    • It’s a soothing behavior. Most grow out of it, but I wouldn’t worry about it (unless you’re a worrier like I am and then you worry that you’re worrying too much). If she can comfort herself when she’s stressed or tired, that means she’s less likely to cause a ruckus about it.

  10. Robyn, I didn’t even notice you saying limited edition instead of admission. You did great! When they put that graphic up and then the reporter was talking about the closeup I’m like “What closeup? I can’t see. Take the dang graphic down!”

  11. YAY Darwin-Congrats! Poor Logie you ought to sue them not putting your pretty face on camera!
    Poor Brandywine as well, with all those brats hanging all over her. When can they be weaned?

    • She could wean them at any time, but like most of the mama cats we’ve had, she puts up with it. She needs to put the smack down on those little brats!

  12. I liked the news piece! I blank on words all the time in my rush to speak and it FEELS like you’re struggling forever but you did great and quick!
    The look on Brandywine’s face is priceless!

  13. Found this y’all (especially Kelly) might like:
    Rules for the Cat:

    The cat is not allowed on the furniture.

    Alright, the cat can go on the furniture, but NOT the kitchen counter.

    OK, the cat can go on the kitchen counter too, just not when I’m preparing food. Deal?

    Fine…The cat can go wherever it wants, whenever it wants, as long as it doesn’t swat me in the face at 5:30 in the morning demanding to be fed.

    The cat will be fed at 5:30 in the morning.

    • HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!! Whoever wrote those rules has lived in my house at one point or another!! πŸ˜‰ I love it!

      • Kelly-Yes I did immediately think of you especially after visiting your blog. Great work over there btw!

        • Thank you! These rules may be showing up on the blog at some point. It feels like I wrote them myself πŸ˜‰

    • This one always makes me think of my parents. The dogs we had when I was a kid were trained to within an inch of their lives not to approach or even so much as LOOK at the table while we were eating, and if my brother or I got caught sneaking them food, the guilty child AND the dog got the belt.

      On a recent visit to my parents’ house, their littlest dog sat in my mother’s lap during the entire meal, occasionally snarfing bites of food off of my mom’s plate if they weren’t offered quickly enough. The second littlest dog spent the whole time doing a jump-up–whine–scratch–whine–jump-down–go-to-the-other-side–jump-up cycle, while the biggest dog sat under the table with her head on the bench seat, sighing hugely if she went more than 45 seconds without a treat. Meanwhile, in the living room, my dad’s letting the cat lick his plate… the plate on which he had saved the choicest pieces of his dinner for Doc (the cat)’s enjoyment.

      I was like, “Okay, WHO are you, and what have you done with my REAL parents?!”

      Amazing how things change. And we think we’re training the *pets* – HAHAHAHA

  14. As I said earlier on Facebook, you did a great job with the interview! But I too was disappointed that we missed the close-up of Razzie because of the graphic. I wish they could take that off of the clip on line. And yay for Darwin getting adopted!!

    OK – asking everyone for good thoughts as I took Samantha, Sabrina and Tippy (also known as Princess Pink Paws right now, since she dyed her paws pink this weekend after dragging a piece of red wrapping tissue through the water bowl…) for their second ELISA tests this morning. Fingers crossed that these come back negative, too!

  15. I am terrible at interviews…my brain just doesn’t function. I can relate!

    Poor Brandywine…she looks so ready to be free from her stalkers!

    Nice to see Sheriff Mama!

  16. Too funny about Mr. Floof (what another demotion??) as my Muffin used to lay around like that too.. We used to call her Bunny Girl since that was the way my rabbit used to lay around.

    Yea for Darwin!!

    Brandywine really needs to wean those kittens. They are beyond old enough to sustain themselves. Since she isn’t you know she’s enjoying feeding them and so I just have to laugh at her and those looks she is giving..

    • I call it his frog pose – he loves to lay like that!

      And I know Brandywine must be enjoying being followed around by her own little group of stalkers. She always looks so harassed!

  17. In my heart, Beulah and Stompers are best friends and they somehow reproduce and make the CUTEST KITTEN IN ALL EXISTENCE and then I think the internet implodes….

  18. Ok seriously, did you check Kennebec’s id? I think he’s older than he’s admitting.

    Also, Fianna is such a little diva/princess. I bet she’s complaining about that pea underneath her mattress again.

  19. My soundriver is shot so I couldn’t hear the interview but you looked mahvulous!

  20. Can’t hear the interview because of sound driver issues but I could see and you look so skinny. You looked great!

  21. I thought you guys did great in the interview. I wish they didn’t keep the graphic up so long, I was missing important kitten footage! I think you guys should have just stood there huffing kitten belly. I bet there would be a stampede at the adoption center if people knew they could huff kitten belly!

  22. If you want to see something truly weird, look on YouTube for the Betty Boop/Minnie the Moocher episode. There’s an animated “ghost” cat suckling “ghost” kittens who literally drain her away to nothing. I don’t remember how I first learned of this weird little cartoon, but you know those animators must have been hitting the catnip!

    • (this was meant to be in reply to Swistle’s comment about Brandywine’s kittens being half her size)

  23. Robyn, you did GREAT on the news segment!!! If you hadn’t mentioned those perceived little blips, I would never have even noticed… wonderful job!!

  24. I love the color & the length of your hair. You look so nice on TV, it’s a great way to promote the animal shelter and hopefully get some kitties adopted.

  25. I meant the “commercial” was a great way to promote…not you looking nice. LOL Of course that might help.

  26. Robyn, you were beyond telegenic — fantastic job! I hope they’ll book you for a regular spot. Many congratulations, too, to Darwin’s new family, and fingers crossed for his fellow Noms, not to mention the mere 12 fosters hanging at Crooked Acres at present.