8-16-12 – Crooked Acres Thursday

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From Rebecca:

I was wondering if you have readership (besides me) in the Virginia area? I’ve got a feral-born tuxedo boy (around 12 weeks old) that has decided that people are way better than being “born free” and I am having him neutered/vetted this week. Know any tuxedo cat addicts in this area? πŸ™‚

Mr. Boogerbutt (as I call him) was born to a 100% feral mom and we haven’t been able to catch her yet. He was the smallest of this litter, and his 4 siblings disappeared suddenly about two weeks ago. He lives in the flower beds at my office and all of us have been feeding and loving on him for about three weeks now. This little guy blows my mind – I have never seen weaned feral kitten choose people like this. I pick him up for snuggles multiple times a day…no hissing, scratching, or biting. I’ve tested his tolerance by flipping him over, messing with his ears and feet, and carrying him with nothing more than a little timidity from him. He’s pretty much the coolest stray baby ever.

If you have any ideas, please let me know!


Ideas, suggestions, questions, want to adopt him? Email Rebecca at eisforemail (at) gmail (dot) com for more info!

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Sights from around Crooked Acres.

“Where our snack, George? Where it at? It not on the ground.”

“Snack over there with the man? He waving his hands around and saying “Look up! Look UP!”, maybe he have our snack!”

“I don’t know, Gracie. That man don’t look like he got a snack.”
“The lady, George! She just said “Look at me if you want your snack”! I should get George’s snack too, lady, it’s only fair.”

Pretty flowers growing on Dirt Mountain. I don’t know what they are. Fred calls them “weeds”, but I suspect that isn’t the official name.

You can’t tell from this picture, but the water in the pond is actually staring to clear up. We threw a bag of barley in the deep end about a week and a half ago, and it seems to be making a difference.

The ducks are enjoying the water, green or not.

“If you has no cookies for us, you just go ‘way.”

Dolores, the Orb Weaver who lived in the front flower bed. The last time I saw Dolores, it had just started raining and she was running for cover, leaving a half-wrapped grasshopper behind. She disappeared after that – I guess she decided there were greener pastures elsewhere. (For size reference, I would guess that legs and all, she was about the size of the palm of my hand.) I know, ewww, spider. But she’s so pretty and she won’t hurt you!

The Hydrangeas in the front flower bed sure are happy.

This is a Red Velvet Ant. Her correct fancypants name is Mutillidae. Before this summer, I had seen MAYBE two of them. This summer, I’ve seen about ten.

The Sheriff had to come over and see what I was doing. I don’t know if the dry summer is what is encouraging the proliferation of these things, or what. They’re also known as “Cow Killers” not because they could actually kill a cow, but their bite is apparently very painful. They’re not actually ants, they’re wingless wasps. Actually, the males are less fuzzy, have wings, and don’t bite. The females are wingless and do bite. My mother-in-law told me that if they’re cornered, they’ll actually squeal, but I keep in mind the painful bite aspect, and try not to get too close. It’s been my experience that they do their best to get away if I’m walking in their direction. But if I see one in the back yard, I kill it. My cats are stupid and I don’t want them suffering painful bites because they think they’ve found a toy.

We have a miniature Meyer Lemon tree in a big pot on the driveway. It’s looking like it’s going to produce about 10 Meyer Lemons this year, but they’re taking forever to grow and mature. When the weather turns cold, we’ll move the tree into the garage, upstairs in front of the window, like we did last winter.

There’s a feed and seed place we occasionally visit up near Tennessee. Last weekend, we went up to see what they had in the way of cool animals (last year they were bottle-feeding a baby Llama.) This time, they had young Rheas, which are similar to Ostriches. They were awfully cute (and no, we don’t need Rheas. For one, the fence around the back forty isn’t tall enough to confine adult Rheas.)

When we moved into this house, I chopped down a ton of weeds and foliage around the trees in the back yard. Slowly, we’ve let some stuff grow back (the cats like hanging out under the greenery), including a Rose of Sharon (hibiscus) bush. I absolutely love the color of the flowers it puts out.

“Forget stupid flowers, lady. Bring on the cookies!”

“If he gets a cookie, so do I!” (It kind of looks like he has a chicken sitting on his back, doesn’t it?)

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Brandywine, keeping an eye on me.

She is just so PRETTY.

Rough life, ain’t it?

(Dingwall Scotty. Also, we think “Dingwallace” would be an excellent name. I thought of it last night and Fred and I laughed and laaaaughed, because we are dorks.)

Lazy monkeys.

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Tony Rocky Horror Pickle continues to do really well. He seems to have located his appetite, and when I walk into the room, he sits expectantly at the door to the carrier where he stays. When I let him out, he stomps (!) across the room, into the closet where I give them their canned food, and he meows up at me. Because he is STARVIN’. He’s finally putting on some weight, and yesterday he harassed Polly so much that she had to jump up on the cat tree to get away from him.

Oh, he’s going to be such a MONSTER.

“Girrrrrl, whatchoo been DOIN’ with your furs? I don’t know if I’m going to be able to fix this mess.”

Sleepy Petey. Oh, he is just the sweetest little guy.

More snuggling in the giant Croc slipper-bed.

“I’ll be safe up here.”

“That’s what SHE thinks!”

Joe looks a little worried, doesn’t he?

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After acting like he was too good to mess with Da Bird, Joe Bob finally gave in and lunged for it. Look at Elwood’s look of disapproval! He’s like “That boy ain’t right.”


2011: Harlan gets his butt kicked while the Kong bird looks on, unconcerned.
2010: Miz Poo’s all “Do you SEE what I have to put up with?!”
2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



8-16-12 – Crooked Acres Thursday — 41 Comments

  1. Thank you for all the wonderful pictures and updates! Everyone and everything looks fab!
    Joe Bob’s “frozen moment in time”, is hysterical! I love the look on his face and his left leg/paw!

  2. Was anyone else as absolutely positive as I was that this particular section…
    “They were awfully cute (and no, we don’t need Rheas. For one, the fence around the back forty isn’t tall enough to confine adult Rheas.)”
    …was going to end with “So Fred is building a taller fence next week while they are still young” ?? Anyone?? πŸ˜‰

    Elwood, be nice to Joe Bob. Even if he isn’t right, he’s still your brother!

  3. Great post today! The “feral” Mr. Boogerbutt (a combo of Mr. Boogers and Sugarbutt?) is adorable (and decidedly not feral, it seems), and I wish I lived in Virginia and were not 6 months pregnant with two cats already… I hope Rebecca finds a home for him soon.

    What does barley do to green water that helps it clear up?

    Dolores and the Red Velvet “Ant” freak me out a little, I’ll admit it. They are both quite pretty, but 1) I have a thing about spiders, and 2) ouch, wasp bites. And they squeal, too? Definitely freaked out.

    Rheas look lovely, and I didn’t realize how tiny these young ‘uns were until I saw them next to the mower and the crate. So little! Speaking of little, I learned last night that there are PYGMY GOATS. Oh my gosh, so cute. If only I lived on a farm…

    Yes, it does look like there is a chicken sitting on the pig’s back. I agree.

    So happy about TRHP. Sounds like he turned whatever corner he needed to turn. Wonderful job, Robyn!

    • Something that the barley straw produces as it decomposes kills off the algae, or so I’ve read.

      Several years ago, Fred and I visited a small roadside petting zoo that had pygmy goats. Not only did they have pygmy goats, they had BABY ones that had just been born earlier that day. They were the cutest things ever!

  4. Look at those gigantic paws on Mr. Boogerbutt! (I have two huge black-and-white cats. It’s like there’s a sign on the door or something – MUTANT CATS COME HERE. FREE FOODS.)

    • Hee! A friend of mine swears that the cats in my neighborhood have put a secret symbol on my house, like the hobos did during the Depression, that tells stray cats that they can get food and attention at my place!

      Boogerbutt looks a lot like my Tuxie!

  5. I’m in Virginia (Richmond) but I don’t need another feral cat. Ours is not that friendly. Does Rebecca want to trade, that cute tuxie for my shitty Gus? πŸ™‚ If she’s in the area, though, I can loan her a cat trap…

    • If she’s closer to the DC region, I can lend her mine. My residents will not be having with any newcomers in the house (they barely tolerate each other, after recent disruptions) so I can’t help with placement, but I can help with catching.

  6. *shudder* Ants.
    I’m more okay with spiders… well, as long as they don’t take up residence in my house. I have a scorched earth policy when it comes to bugs inside. (and the cats are NO help at all; they won’t even kill flies.)

    Also, Go Joe Bob! Great form πŸ™‚

  7. Rebecca, whereabouts in Virginia are you? Virginia’s a big state and has several distinct regions to it. I know several people living in different parts of Virginia, and depending on where you are, most of them like cats πŸ™‚

    I don’t object to spiders, but I draw the line at anything that stings or bites.

    Glad to hear Tony RH Pickle is doing so well. He’s a total stinker πŸ™‚ I guess you’d have to be full of piss and vinegar to pull through like he is.

    • Oh, and about hibiscus – I looooove hibiscus. Got two in what little front yard I’ve got. Here’s a picture:

      If that doesn’t come out, here’s the link:

      Dropbox link

      It’s a different varietal – it’s called Luna, and the flowers are typically 4-6″ across.

  8. Does Petey do anything else but sleep? If he’s practicing looking cute curled up, he’s definitely got that down pat.

    I’m curious what barley does for the pond water, never heard of putting it in to clear up the gunk.

    Maybe Rebecca can get Mr B a job as a maitre de, he is an elegant fellow. Those whiskers are amazing.

  9. When I saw the picture of the red velvet ant, my first thought was “no, that’s a cow killer!”, than I scrolled down and saw that you said the same thing! I first saw those on my great grandmother’s farm in southeast Georgia when I was little. I’ve never been bitten – the name alone (and Granny Lee’s warnings) kept me a respectful distance. I’m glad you don’t let the cats tangle with them.

    Pretty Brandywine! And have I told you before that I am so glad to see someone else’s hardwood floors looking as cat-scratched as mine? πŸ™‚ Sometimes I wonder why I bothered to refinish them when I moved into this house…

  10. YAY, Tony RH Pickel! You keep getting better and more feisty, little man. I had no doubt that he would recover and be just fine with you as a Mama, Robyn. Not worried for even a second! Brandywine’s sweet face is just beautiful. And pictures of sleepy babies all curled up together, and adult kittehs jumping around the yard make me happy. Everybody’s happy and healthy Chez Bitchypoo. That’s the way we like it!

  11. Joe Bob in action — rock my world! And, Robyn, if I had Dingwall Scotty, he’d get sobriquets like Ding-a-ling and Fair Dinkum.. In short, he’s lucky to be hanging out with you, not least because Dingwallace is both dignified and hilarious (and I’m suddenly hearing Mike Wallace harrying a dictator…). Go, Tony RH, and hurry up and master the potty so you can be out and about!

    • Dingwallace is great! In fact, I saved the photo of him with his tongue out as “dingwallace.”

  12. It’s a good think I live no where near Virginia, or I think I might have a new tuxie! What a pretty boy! And I have a soft spot for former ferals….

    And yay for Tony Rocky Horror!

  13. Oh, that tuxie looks so adorable. 😑 I don’t know anyone in Virginia, unfortunately.

    I’d never heard of Rheas before. They are adorable! Good thing your fence isn’t tall enough, or you would’ve added more animals to the Crooked Acres menagerie. XD You could almost start your own petting zoo!

    I can’t get enough of the Pickles. They are too cute.

  14. Mister Boogerbutt is adorable!


    Joe-by Joe, the tuxie-do,
    Shows off his anti-gravity, yo.

  15. Miz Robin, can you explain…… why is a bag of barley supposed to de-greenify the pond water?? How does that work?

  16. If your population of permanent residents was at a lower number where you felt comfortable adopting another cat, would you have considered Brandywine? What a sweetheart.

  17. Wow Joe Bob! What an action shot!! Aw, Elwood, don’t be upset because someone else is playing.. you’ll get another turn! lol!

    Dingwallace! Love it!

    With a name like Tony Rocky Horror did you really expect him NOT to be a monster?? MOL! Fred gave him a name to live up to, or down to!

  18. Alas, Rebecca, although I am a Virginian now, I cannot adopt at this time (if I could, I would pick up charming Mr. Boogerbutt on my way back from Robyn’s, where I would have adopted the beautiful Ms. Brandywine.)

    Brandywine is simply gorgeous!

  19. So don’t ask too many questions but my staff and I have been conducting business all week speaking ‘Swedish Chef’. We’re an academic library staff, just go with it.

    So we discovered today that a certain site (http://rinkworks.com/dialect/ ) will translate websites into your favorite language. Of course, I had it translate your blog and have amused myself ALL DAY LONG!!!

    So I give to you http://rinkworks.com/dialect/dialectp.cgi?dialect=bork&url=http%3A%2F%2Flove-and-hisses.com

    yeah. We are a bit weirder than usual this week. Kids hit the dorms on Saturday and classes start on Monday. This week has been our version of a three-day-commit.

  20. On the rheas… are those EARS towards the back of the head? And how come the one in the first picture doesn’t (seem to) have one? I am fascinated by whatever that (those) is (are)… looks like some kind of SuperSecretSpy device.

    Thanks to Matthew for the video of the “cow-killer” – when they did the closeup of the stinger, I got full-body chills, similar to what you get after an insect bite or sting. My imagination is apparently better than I thought. Yeesh.

    Last but not least, black-and-white is my *least* favorite color-combination of cat, but even I am smitten by Rebecca’s friendly feral. What a cutie. I hope he finds the home he needs, soon!