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Just donated to Challenger’s House for all the amazing work they do — any chance you might stage a donation campaign like what the Itty Bitty Committee does, or is that just way beyond the scope of what you already do ? (which is sooo much more than anyone else I know, so I would totally get it)

You know, I don’t know that the campaign like Laurie does is really within my skill set. I’ll have to think about it. Maybe I could do something on a smaller scale – I think bringing in 75 squillion would cause me to fall over dead.

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In a few of those photos Stompers seems to be starting to look like a real (albeit small) cat. Is he getting to that long, lanky stage?

He’s more of a round little butterball still, but he’s starting to lengthen ever so slightly. I don’t think it’ll be too long before he’s headed for long and lanky!

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Do I foresee a Tommy-Sugarbutt-esque brotherly bond in the works between Caspian and Kennebec? Caspian seems intrigued and maybe a little star-struck by Kennebec, even if they did start off on the wrong foot. (Or maybe I should keep in mind that the captions are for humorous effect, and are not what the cats actually said…)

Caspian was a little star-struck, but Kennebec has shown no interest in going back into the foster room, so we’ll have to wait and see what happens when the ‘Maters are given the run of the house (which will happen fairly soon, I think. I’m considering giving it a try this weekend, though I may wait until after they’re neutered next week.)

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Robyn, do the kittens sleep with you? Gracie is 14 weeks old now, and likes to sleep with me. She wakes up and sees something move, and it is ATTACK!!!! Most of the time it is my arm, or leg. Any advice? I love that she sleeps with me, but her claws are SHARP!! Wish I could trim them.

There’s more advice on the topic here, but I can tell you that getting Gracie accustomed to having her claws trimmed would undoubtedly be a good thing. None of the fosters sleep with me (they’re put in their rooms at night so that the permanent residents can have some relief from the invaders), but I do my best to keep their claws trimmed so that they don’t climb up my legs at snack time or at play time – or really, any time! Kitten claws are the sharpest things on earth.

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I would love a permanent web cam that I could tune into anytime I needed a Crooked Acres Critters fix! You could aim it towards an active area of the pond, or towards the piggies, or the doggies, or the chickens, or you could set up so we can aim it anywhere we like. (But not towards your house, so we don’t feel like Internet peeping Toms!)

I don’t see Fred agreeing to that, but it’s an interesting idea – I have to admit that I’d tune into a webcam that’s aimed at my chicken yard myself!

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I just got a baby kitten for the first time in 23 years. I am so out of my league! Who knew a kitten would be so much different that the old obsess kitties I normally adopt? Anyway we are on the hunt for the perfect kitten toys. Right off hand what are the toys your kittens love the most besides the De-bird? That thing is a hit from ages 1 to 99. Toys for old obsess grouchy cats dont seem to have the same appeal for the new baby kitten. HEEELLLPPPPPPPPP???

They love those round ball tracks like this, they adore the rings off of milk jugs, and if you don’t drink your milk out of a plastic jug, you can buy a set of these (warning: those things tend to end up in the middle of the floor where you’ll step on them with bare feet, and they hurt!), and they love to toss toy mice – like this around. Also, these crinkly mylar balls are a big favorite (I have a couple of giant ones that I don’t remember where I got, but the kittens love ’em!)

As for things you have laying around, straws are a perennial favorite, crumpled-up pieces of tinfoil are awesome, and even just crumpled up pieces of paper. Anything they can bat around and chase, they’re going to love!

Connie added that Ping Pong balls are a big favorite, too, which I agree with! I’ve also got a golf ball kicking around in here, too.

Kittens really like soft “kickers” that they can (you guessed it) kick, like these (though they don’t have to be the Kong brand, which are a little pricey.)

Also, I can’t believe I forgot this: the number one favorite toy around here are packing straps – plastic straps that come wrapped around boxes. Those straps are scattered throughout this house, and the kittens always love playing with them.

Okay, readers, tell us this: what are YOUR cat’s favorite things to play with?

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who’s the kitty begging us to help Challenger’s House? I’m pretty sure i should know those puffy little whisker cheeks but the name escapes me.

That’s Pepsi, who was actually never one of my fosters. I got that picture of her when I was cleaning at Petsmart one afternoon, and I just love it to death!

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What kind of cookies do you feed the pigs and pooches? Just regular sandwich-style cookies or some kind of nutritional thingys?

I give the pigs Piggerdoodles (which I make myself, obviously), and I’ve been super lazy about the treats that the dogs get. I went through them earlier this week after Fred sent me an article about jerky treats manufactured in China making dogs ill and tossed all the treats that were from China. I used to make Milkbone-type treats a few years back; I need to dig out my recipes and do that again.

Once a week or so, I fill their Kongs with yogurt and peanut butter and chicken baby food (it’s not just for kittens!) and freeze them, which they absolutely love, and which keeps them busy for a good long time.

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I have to give a huge shout out to First Coast No More Homeless Pets here in Jacksonville, Fl. They put together a mega-adopt-a-thon last Fri-Sun. Animal Care and Protective Services (city shelter) and many many rescue groups from around the area participated. All animals were spayed/neutered and micro-chipped. By end of day (6 pm) yesterday, 920 dogs, cats and rabbits had been adopted. They all pretty much ran out of animals. Each day 300 – 500 people were waiting at the door (10 am) for the opening. ACPS (who I volunteer for) had all of their dogs and cats adopted. If you went to the shelter…silence. The only animals that remained were in the I-wing (where sick or URI dogs and cats are) and those still waiting to be spayed/neutered or are on hold for possible owner claims. That has never been the case before. We all know, that it will fill up to the max again shortly, but we are basking in the glory for now. We are trying hard to become a no-kill community and have all people educated about proper animal care and spay and neuter along with TNR programs for feral cats. FCNMHP – you rock! This is their website. I am adding it not as advertisement, but for information. Who knows who it could help repeat this process in their community! πŸ™‚

That is absolutely awesome!

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Oh, so cute. Stompers totally looks like he could be a littermate of the ‘Maters. A LitterMater!

I think you may have answered this question before, but how does he compare, size-wise, to them? They all look pretty comparable from the photos.


Stompers looks HUGE to me compared to Caspian. Kind of chunky. On the other hand, black is very slimming.

Glad that Stompy’s finally putting some weight and looking healthy.

HA – LitterMater! Caspian – who is the smallest ‘Mater – and Stompers weigh the same, but when they’re side by side Stompers looks bigger. Caspian looks kind of lanky, whereas Stompers is a little butterball. Stompers is getting ready to do that long-and-lanky thing. It’s funny how a two-pound kitten can feel so heavy to me, but a six-pound adult (Brandywine, who started out at 5 1/2 pounds, can you believe that?) feels so light.

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The last pic of Elwood and Corbie would be perfect for this:

29 Of The Most Imminent “SOON” Attacks

And Elwood licking his chops too!

Ha – I love those!

And you can thank the comment Kelly left about that picture for making me come up with this one (hehe):

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How are those sores on her back doing? It’s clear they don’t bother her too much, but they look a little ouchy.

The “main” sore on Brandywine’s back, the one you guys have seen the most, is healing nicely though it seems like it’s taking forever. There’s one closer to her tailbone that’s pretty much completely healed. I’m hoping that the fur grows back at least around the sores if not from the sores themselves, but even if they don’t, I don’t think the scars will be too scary.

Also, speaking of Brandywine, the report from Kathie, who was at the clinic and got some Brandywine love, is that she’s a total sweetheart. Which of course I knew, but it’s good to know that she’s that way with strangers, too. She reminds me so much of Maggie, though I’d say Maggie was even more laid-back than Brandywine.

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Have you seen this?

I confess I was torn between open-mouthed horror and laughing my ass off. πŸ˜‰

I had not seen that, though I’ve probably seen all of them in the context of the show. I know that they’re just trying to get footage so Jackson Galaxy can see how the cat is acting, but 9 times out of 10 I find myself thinking “You know, if you weren’t poking your hand at the cat, s/he wouldn’t be smacking you!”

(Elayne said) I thought that was going to be this. (They say “the window sticks,” but it looks to me like he rolled it down instead of up in his panic, and/or the weight of the leopard made it roll down some on its own.)

One of my cats will sometimes chase you (where “you” = me or TJ) very aggressively, including swatting at you or even launching from a table-top aiming for your chest; he’s not actually BEING aggressive when he does that, he just wants you to scratch his head or his spine, but he LOOKS aggressive enough that it’s made TJ & I both run a few steps off more than once. My parents’ cat, on the other hand, IS aggressive and mean/hateful about it. He’s very much a “one and a half people” cat; he worships my dad and tolerates my mom, but anyone else would be risking their lives except for the fact that he’s declawed. (He still bites if he gets a chance, though, and starts hissing and spitting at me the minute I walk in their door.)

Man, the last thing I’d want coming at me is a really mad wild cat, and second to that is a really mad domesticated (ha) cat! Note to self: do not poke the wild cats with a stick, tempting though it might be!

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Maybe you’ll get the Taters to do things like that?

I would love to scan their cute little behinds, but as soon as the printer/ scanner starts making noise, they get scared and run off. I bet Stompers would let me do it, though. I may have to try that!

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By sheer coincidence I just came across this. I sent the link to my friend who grows tomatoes and zucchini in her backyard as a hint because I’ll be visiting her in a few weeks and I’d really like to try the Zucchini Boats.

You certainly have a small patch of paradise there. Do you have a mosquito problem though?

That recipe looks so good! I may have to try it, if the zucchini plants will give me a few more zucchini. Fred picked a big bucket of squash last night, but not a single zucchini among them.

To my surprise, we don’t have an issue with mosquitoes. I thought for sure that we would, with the pond and all, but I haven’t been bitten by a single mosquito (YET) this year.

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All five ‘Mater kittens. On the white bed is Caspian, that’s Dingwall Scotty in the front with the white locket on his chest, Mr. Stripey’s under the platform, Sungold’s in the background, and that’s Wellington with the yellow collar.

And then they switched things up a bit!

Dingwall Scotty’s having deep thoughts. Or waiting for me to rub his belly. Maybe both.

Caspian, disturbed.

Wellington, eye on the prize.

Mr. Stripey likes to climb into my lap and bite me. When I blow in his face to stop him, he gets all befuddled.

Caspian biting Mr. Stripey’s butt. Mr. Stripey is attempting to bunny-kick Dingwall Scotty (who you can barely see.)

Mr. Stripey has a leaky eye. It looked absolutely awful when we first got them, but with time and lots of eye ointment, he’s lookin’ good.

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The followup to yesterday’s picture. Here, Princess Fianna shows the slightest bit of irritation.

Stompers, having just been woken up, looks out the window to see what’s what.

“Hmph. Can’t a guy take a nap around here?”

Agata, on top of the cat tree.

Stompers likes to get up in the cat tree condo and then when he’s ready to come down, he yells at me. It’s a good thing he’s not spoiled, eh, Kristyn? πŸ™‚

How the guest bedroom looks now that I pushed the bed against the wall. That quilted “blanket” is actually a waterproof bed pad (this one; I ordered several and then dyed them). I put another one on the middle of the bed and one on the other end, then covered them with another fitted bed sheet. Then on top of that, a quilt. So from the mattress up is: waterproof mattress cover, fitted bed sheet, waterproof bed pads, a second fitted bed sheet, and a quilt. There’s no WAY the cats are getting anything nasty on that mattress. I won’t have it!

Brandywine is certainly making herself at home these days.

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It’s a Corbie in a box. Have you ever seen a more gorgeous cat? No, you have not. Don’t even try to tell me you have, because I don’t believe you. La la laaaaaa, I can’t heaaaaaaar youuuuuuu.


2011: Ciara would like you to know that she is, in fact, da bebbe.
2010: He’s scared and skittish, but also playful and likes to be petted.
2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: How nice it is to do nothing and then rest afterwards.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



7/20/12 — 50 Comments

    • Heh – we have a foster room (upstairs) and a guest room (downstairs), and most of the time both rooms have feline residents. When humans come to visit, they sleep in the guest bedroom. πŸ™‚

  1. Re: Cat toys. The best toys always seem to be homemade or stuff that would end up in the garbage otherwise. Wine corks are a huge hit in our house, as are those green plastic things they have at Starbucks that you’re supposed to insert into the drinking hole on the lid to keep the coffee from splashing. I rarely visit Starbucks, but if I do, I always grab a couple of them since one of our cats is obsessed with them (admittedly, he’s about 8 years old, but he acts like a kitten). My cats also love “Da Bird”-like toys once the feathers have been destroyed. We’ve added ribbons, shoelaces, or simply left the string with the little metal attachment at the end — the last of these is another obsession for both our cats. Broken toys and trash — cats’ favorite playthings. I honestly don’t know why I ever BUY stuff for them to play with, but I do…

    • I never visit Starbucks, but I’m thinking I’m going to have to make a visit so I can check these plastic things out!

      I keep buying cat toys even though there’s no need to, too. It’s an illness!

    • Beer bottle caps are a hit in our house. Especially on hard floors like tile, wood, cement. As soon as they hit carpet my two loose interest and then you step on them and get a strange cut on your foot… But I have NO CHOICE Caster will pull them out of the garbage, bottom of cases of beer… you name it to get to bottle caps.

  2. My fosters like the little plastic balls with bells in them, however they always get stepped on and broken. Then those little squishy balls, the size of a golf ball they seem to love to chase. My adult cat always liked to play with golf tees, when she was young she would steal them off my son’s dresser and she started playing fetch with them with my hubby. So we always have golf tees laying around the house, under the stove or refrig. It is funny when you pull out a piece of furniture to clean how many toys you find, LOL.

  3. My cats are obsessed with bouncy balls. I have wood floors and, being a grad student, nothing much to break, so I bought a bulk bag of 100 or so of them and keep them in a jar. They love chasing them and leaping to try to catch them. They’re incredibly good at it! Of course, to play properly you have to throw a dozen or so, one after the other, or chase after the one you threw. I spend a lot of time hunting for bouncy balls in my apartment. And no, they’ve never tried to eat them, thankfully.

    One cat is obsessed with the caps that come on a bottle of hairspray or anything with a small pump that needs to be covered. The other doesn’t care for them.

    • I love tossing toys for the cats one after the other, they get so excited!

      I forgot – they also love kicking soda bottle caps around. Pretty much anything plastic that they can bat around seems to be a hit!

    • My Maggie is obsessed with those plastic pump bottle lids, too! And when I wash my face at night, she comes running into the bathroom to supervise. I use the oil-free eye makeup remover, and when I take the lid off that, I have to be sure to put it in a safe place, or it WILL get batted off the vanity and disappear within short measure. I have learned this the hard way.

      Oh, pretty Agata’s eyes are so mesmerizing! Like topaz.

      • What’s also round, plastic and batable…a contact lense case! What’s not fun is the first time your cat discovers it and sends the open case (with contacts still inside) flying across the bathroom… You’d have thought that my scream of horror the first time Trixie did that would have put her off that particular game, but no. So now I have learned to snatch the case up (or at least close the cover) as soon as she jumps up on the bathroom sink in the morning! πŸ™‚

        I think you need to make the doggies treats on Dinosaurs Can’t Eat Pizza. But can you imagine the demerits once Inspector Stompers realizes you are making dog, and not kitty, treats?!?

    • I (meaning me, not for the cats) love super balls. I have a bunch of them and I occasionally let the cats play with them. Unfortunately I have a chewer that took a chunk off of one, so now I tend to only do very short play sessions and then take them away.. which is too bad cause your right, it is a lot of fun!

  4. My tabby Lucy LOVES these plastic springs that come in packages of 5. Some are skinny, some are fatter, but they skitter across the tile in all directions and she absolutely loves chases them and batting them around. She’ll bring one to you for you throw and then she’ll bring it back, meowing about her “catch” the whole time. I love that she plays fetch!

  5. My older cats aren’t much for playing with toys anymore, other than kicking around a catnip sack every once in a while. But the one-year-old actually plays fetch. His favorite things to chase and bring back to me are toy mice, straws, popsicle sticks, twistie ties, bottle caps, and a feather assembly off a broken feather teaser. Every time I let him outside, he immediately comes back in with a stick. I have woken up many times to find a popsicle stick or straw in my bed. He is such a weirdo.

  6. we have jingly ball but have a rubber type ball shape so they squish when you step on them. And we all know the best toy in the world for kittens is a tail belonging to some unsuspecting adult cat who happens to be taking a snooze…. MOL

    OH – and LOVE LOVE LOVE FCNMHP….my brother/SIL live in Jacksonville and hear a lot about them – they even have a clinic where my sister-in-law took their pyr Minnie (and she was adorable for the cute furriness that she is). πŸ™‚

    • Noelegy referred to them as “topaz”, and I think that’s a pretty good description – copper works, too. They sure are pretty, aren’t they?

  7. OMG OMG OMG, you got five kittens.. sitting down.. AND LOOKING AT YOU!! I always wondered how Laurie did it, so spill! did you get her kitten glue?? *giggle*

    That photo of Stompers waking up and ‘looking out the window’ needs the caption “Get off my lawn!” or something equivalently grumpy..

    • Btw, I wondered if the cat fish aren’t eating the mosquito larvae which might be why you aren’t seeing mosquitoes..

    • Yeah, I’ve only got three foster kittens right now and getting them all in the same camera frame requires food (and then no one’s looking!)

    • They were all chasing the feather teaser (not Da Bird – the teaser that’s basically feathers on the end of a stick) around, and when I realized they were all in the same area of the room, I started waving the teaser over my head wildly so they’d look at it. It works sometimes, but most of the time it doesn’t. I still think Laurie uses magic. Or drugs. πŸ™‚

  8. I was thinking about your kitten-naming garden theme (I spend way too much time thinking about kittens :-)), and I am assuming the next batch of babies will be named after squash, right? Zuccini, Summer (for a yellow/orange tabby, of course…and there will be one as this is “Orange Tabby Summer”, after all), Pattypan, Butternut (good for a buff-colored kitten), etc. Any other suggestions?

    • Probably the next batch will be named after squash or tomatoes! I still can’t believe we’ve never named a kitten Pattypan. That’s such a perfect name!

    • I’ll see what I can do! I know they like cabbage, but I don’t think we’ve tried the tetherball approach. πŸ™‚

  9. I love all of these free (and disposable) kitten toy ideas. My three fosters are still contagious and anything that can’t be sterilized is going to be pitched when they’re better. BTW, anything that rolls or rattles has Henry’s complete attention. Also, cardboard boxes for the win! Somehow they amplify the play-factor of any toy… tossing in and out, rolling around inside of it, jumping on and off, then there’s the nesting and scratching factors.

  10. Cat toys: Nip Nanner and tiny little mice!

    The Nip Nanner has catnip. Kittens without the gene may not be as enthused. Also, rotate toys as they do get bored with the same ones all the time.

    Your fish may be eating the mosquito larvae and preventing those buzzing biting nuisances!

    • Oh yes, definitely the Nip Nanner! My cats are fans, too – Spanky likes to sit and drool on it. πŸ™‚

  11. That picture shows off Corbies beautiful eyes so well! Have you ever noticed how gorgeous he is?? I didn’t think so..

    Blowing in their face to stop the biting? I might have to try that… Leo is becoming more of a nipper and I need to nip his nipping in the bud!

    • Who, Corbie? Meh. I guess he’s okay. I’ve never really noticed. πŸ˜€

      Their reaction at first is priceless, because they don’t know WHAT is going on. But they get the idea pretty quickly! This is me teaching Declan (one of Maggie’s babies) not to bite when he was 7 weeks old:

      • I’ve started doing that with wild child Henry. He’s not a nipper, but plays crazy wild with his claws out. It startles him enough to stop what he’s doing. We’ll see if he learns to control a little better.

  12. My cats love all the toys that are being mentioned, but they also love dog toys! In particular, the “long dogs” that you can find at Petsmart — they use ’em just like the Kong Kickers and I’ve even found one of my cats with one in her mouth, running around the house with it. She likes to kick them so hard they squeak.

  13. In that first picture, is Mr. Stripey practicing in case he’s adopted by a rural village somewhere where they have to carry the water back home in jugs balanced on their heads? I had to look at it three times to decide for sure that it’s “him underneath the platform,” and not “the platform on top of his head.”

    Agata’s eyes in that picture just take my breath away. The depth and vibrancy of their color is astonishing. Give her a smooch for me.

  14. I have to say that Caspian looks VERY disturbed in that picture!

    And I don’t know how Stompers could be any more adorable!

  15. well – I like the others – am very impressed with 5 kittens all looking in the same direction. I find, unless asleep, they are constantly moving – even just moving their head around!. OK so my two new little ones love any thing that moves they have to chase. So if it is static, they ignore it. But wave a feather wand or throw a tin foil ball and their OFF! Of course their favourite thing to play with is the other kitten. The tracker ball thingy is a bit scary still – the ball is a bit big and heavy for them.

    My little man has a curious habit. when I tickle his chest he starts licking my fingers, but when my hubby does it, he goes the whole wrap the paws, claws out, and start biting! We have no idea how he developed the different patterns – I keep telling hubby he’s gotta play more with them. they still so tiny and fall off things and face plant all the time, but they seem to have fun romping around. I have a few photos on the blog site.