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As a Summer pastime at our house when we are sitting the backyard watching the squirrels grazing around the lawn we get long thin pieces of bamboo(13ft+) and gently poke the squirrels in the patooty. They jump straight up in the air about 5 ft. Yes it’s kind of evil but so funny.

I am pretty sure that if I were to see this in action, I would probably fall over and laugh so hard I’d die from asphyxiation.

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Maw Peppers is ultra-cute — and oh, that feathery tail! I’m not even going to go into how beautiful her children are, not when Ciara and her stash have stolen the kitty show. And don’t get started on joyous Jake; is he as kooky as he looks?

Jake is more kooky-looking than kooky-acting. Underneath the looniness, he’s just a sweet, social boy who loves kitten food (and will put up with kittens to get to their food) and loves all the other cats in the house. When Fred gets up in the morning, he puts the collars on the cats who need to wear them before he opens the door to the back yard. While he’s got Tommy (or Elwood or Kara or Sugarbutt) held in place so he can put their collar on, Jake KNOWS that the cat being collared can’t get away, so he comes right over and rubs up against them and purrs and purrs. That’s the best description of Jake I can think of.

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*snicker* I see cat-butt magnets on that fridge πŸ˜‰

Are you implying that not everyone has cat butt magnets? πŸ™‚ I also have a Crazy Cat Lady Action Figurine!

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Do people ever keep the names that you give the kittens? They always seem “just right.”

I for one can’t imagine Clove as anything but Clove. Her coloring, her button nose is just like a clove!

I heard that cats that are colored like Miz Poo are the most difficult to get adopted – true in your experience?

Sometimes people do, and I’m always a little surprised when they do – when I name the kittens, I always assume they’ll be renamed when they’re adopted. Reacher, Dorothy, and Bill all kept their original names, though!

I’ve heard that black cats – at least here in the US – are the last to be adopted, and right behind that are the torties. Which seems absolutely nuts to me, because I’ve had plenty of black fosters, and of course Maxi and Tommy are black, too. Every single black cat I’ve had has been absolutely awesome. And torties, well, Miz Poo is a tortie and she is AWESOME. I think everyone needs at least one black cat and one tortie!

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For whatever it’s worth, in regard to the thing about nervous cats: I discovered a few years ago that I am what is known in psychological circles as a Highly Sensitive Person (or HSP for short) which basically means that my nervous system is “hard-wired” to respond more strongly to stimulation than most. That is, my sight, hearing, etc. aren’t necessarily any better than anyone else’s, but my brain processes all the sensory information which does come in much more thoroughly than that of a non-HSP, so I’m more AWARE of things like bright lights and noises, and it’s therefore much easier for me to get OVER-stimulated (and tired, stressed-out, and grumpy) from simply being in an environment with a lot going on. Shopping malls and airports, for example, just wear me the heck out!

I want to stress, though, that being HSP isn’t a pathological thing. It’s not a “disease” or a “syndrome” or anything like that; it’s simply a trait, like hair color or eye color, and is probably genetic in origin. In fact, from the reading I’ve done, the tendency toward High Sensitivity seems to be present in approximately the same proportion (around 20% of total population) in everything from fruit flies to horses to humans, so it must have some kind of survival advantage or it wouldn’t be that prevalent. The lady who’s done the most research on High Sensitivity (Elaine Aron, you can Google her if you want to know more about her work) believes that those with the HSP trait are designed to be a kind of “early warning system” for others of their species–we’re the ones who NOTICE things, and so tend to spot the predator lurking in the bushes before anyone else does.

Anyway–given all that, it’s certainly possible that at least some of these “perpetually nervous even though there’s no reason to be” cats are actually feline HSPs, and thus the spooky behavior is genetic rather than learned, which also explains why it can persist throughout life even with an owner who’s never harmed the kitty in question. So I will second what Oldcat said about giving nervous cats a spot of their own where they can retreat when they’re scared, particularly if they live in a busy household with kids and/or other animals. Believe me, being overstimulated isn’t very much fun, even when you understand what’s happening and why, and High Sensitivity isn’t something that can be trained or conditioned away. As Brandy so elegantly put it, the best you can do is accept that this is just how Nature programmed some of us to be, and try to work around the limits it imposes. (And while I definitely don’t advocate trying to “cure” High Sensitivity with drugs, I will say that a little Rescue Remedy can be VERY helpful at difficult moments. I’m not a pet owner myself so I have no personal experience with using it on an animal, but I can tell you for certain that it’s a real lifesaver for a human HSP, and I literally won’t leave the house without it these days. I’m given to understand that some people/animals respond to it better than others, but it has no side effects and if you have a fur-kid that you think might be Highly Sensitive, I would say it’s certainly worth a try.)

So, informational message delivered–back to lurking.

I found this very very interesting. Thanks for delurking to share!

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Did you plant all the plants in at the same time? I love how staggered the harvest is, and can’t help but wonder if they ripen on their own calendar or by the time you plant them.

We planted the summer squash, tomatoes, peppers, and green beans at the same time. Oh, and the corn. The beans and corn have been harvested and the plants pulled up to make room in the garden, and we had to pull up the squash plants because they were starting to die due to vine borers. The tomatoes are still (kind of) producing (they’d probably be doing better if it wasn’t for THE BLIIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT) and the peppers are still producing like mad. The acorn and butternut squash were planted about a month ago, and they’re doing REALLY well, as you can see.

Wait. When did we plant the watermelon and cantaloupe? I’m thinking at the same time as the tomatoes and peppers, etc. And we’re still getting watermelon, but the cantaloupes are mostly played out.

Basically, they ripen by their own calendar. Some plants just take longer – it seems like forever between the time you see a squash flower and are able to harvest your first squash from that plant, but the peppers and okra will just appear overnight.

So no, for the most part we planted everything at the same time (except the acorn and butternut squashes, and I think we waited a while to plant the okra), they just kind of staggered themselves. πŸ™‚

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Do you eat the purslane? I’ve heard it’s good in salads.

We do eat the purslane! It’s good in salads and also good sauteed in some olive oil. It’s crunchy and has a very faint lemony taste. I’ve been known to occasionally pull up a stalk and eat it while I’m working on the raised beds.

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2011-08-26 (3)
Miz Poo was laying in this bed, and Ciara was all “Hey, let’s snuggle!” Miz Poo growled and hissed and smacked, but Ciara just made herself at home. Miz Poo showed her displeasure by taking a bath.

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“What’s YOUR problem?”

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“I hate you.”

Ciara’s off to the place. You know. The place. etSmart-Pay. In a bit. I’ll try to remember to take the camera!

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2011-08-26 (10)
“What’s she doing?”
“I don’t know. She’s weird.”

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Sally Peppers has clearly gotten over her skittishness.

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“I SAY, pet me, lady.”

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“What’s going on over HERE?”

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Hello, Lucy Peppers.

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Lucy keeps an eye on me.

Yesterday, I finally moved the Peppers Gang upstairs to the foster room. They were a bit freaked out – the first couple of times I went up to check on them, they were hiding in the closet. By the time a couple of hours had passed, they were hanging out on the cat tree and yelling at me to get over there and pet them. I’m glad it didn’t take them two weeks to adjust to their new circumstances this time!

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2011-08-26 (11)
Corbie and the Ears of Annoyance. Jake and the Look o’ Looniness.

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Keeping an eye on the guy next door.

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2010: How I have not squeezed the stuffing out of that boy, I do not know.
2009: β€œHeyyyy, good-lookin’!”
2008: I don’t remember what she was appalled by, but apparently it was quite SOMETHING.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



8-26-11 — 17 Comments

  1. I can’t imagine anyone not wanting to adopt a tortie. We actually searched a lot of shelters in the area looking for a tortie because my husband grew up with one and she was very sweet. Our tortie is incredibly affectionate and playful, and we have a dilute tortie that’s the same way.

    For the record, I also have a thing for black cats. We don’t have one ourselves, but my husband’s parents have one and she’s instantly glued to me every time I’m there. Maybe I’m the cat whisperer?

  2. Corbie is so beautiful. He was my favorite of the litter even when they were all just wee little ones! So glad you kept him as I get to see him all the time! πŸ™‚

  3. Many thanks for encapsulating Jake in one sweet image — what a wonderful boy! Re torties, my first cat was a tortie-and-white rescue and definitely had a bit of tude, especially at the vet. (Let’s just say her file featured a two-red star warning.) I now have a pastel tortie who is a contender for the sweetest cat ever: docile, devoted, and as maternal with her little brother as he’ll let her be. Rescues rock, and we have people like Robyn and Fred to thank for them. Thanks, Andersons!

  4. I also have the Crazy Cat Lady action figure! Put it up, in the package, at work! πŸ™‚

  5. Hugs to Ciara!! I hope she gets adopted asap!! I hope she gives her bestest look of disdain too!! Yay!!

    Lucy Peppers – I want take you home asap! Actually – want all the Peppers Gang! LOL!

    Miz Poo, Corby, lovely Jake are all BEAUTIFUL!

    Take care

  6. Godspeed to Ciara (though having wished her the same twice before, I’m wondering whether it mightn’t be safer to wish her a permanent stay in a certain liquor-cabinet-free household instead). Long may she relax! And may she and the Spice-ettes find homes asap — you go, girls!

  7. We just adopted two kittens: a black and an orange. They were from a litter of six: half black, half orange. Four were adopted in black/orange pairs (ours plus a pair that proceeded them). The last two went as singles, with the black one going first. The shelter even commented their surprise on their web page.

    In any case, the little black kitten (Named Luna Nueva (“New Moon”)) was the first to really pay attention to us human, first to cuddle, and really the sweetest little thing. Her brother, Beso del Sol (“Kiss of the Sun”) is coming around. He will purr if you tap him on the shoulder.

  8. I have a black cat and a tortie from the same litter. They are both incredibly gentle and tolerant of all my snorgling. The tortie is a bit high-strung, but the black cat is just an absolute sweetheart. I absolutely adore both of my girls and I agree that everyone should have a black cat and a tortie!

  9. Agreed on the black cat thing — all the black cats i have ever known have been the sweetest loverbugs!

    oh corbie, you make my day — even with your ears of annoyance lol

  10. I agree, torties are loveable, ours was adopted from a shelter. She is a growler, has no use for young upstarts, and loves to mew over a catnip mousie “catch”…
    love the Cat butt magnets too, had no idea there was such a thing till I followed the link!
    Is it the lighting or is one of the Peppers a silvery tabby? So pretty, ALL of them (the only ‘ugly’ cat really, is one of those hairless ones…IMHO–if anyone has one, no offense!!))

  11. One of my roomie’s cats is a tortie. I absolutely adore her. She does have tortie-tude, but she can be such a sweetie. One minute she’s all smacky and hissy and the next she’s up in my lap purring and meowing for lovin’.

  12. Who wouldn’t want a tortie! Torties are my absolute favorite kitties! I tell my tortie all the time how beautiful she is, and she’s all, “Duh, I know!”

  13. Corbie is beautiful but Jake is so adorable. I just want to sqeeze him when he makes that expression.

  14. Hi pretty kitties! That image of Jake being a purry lovebug to the other kitties while they can’t escape is really just adorable. πŸ™‚ Is Elwood as big a lovebug as his brother is?

    Good luck on the adoption front, Ciara (and the Spice Girls, of course!) I’d still love to come down there and snatch up Cori and… Cilantro, Clove, both? All three! Alas, Wisconsin.

    I never knew purslane tasted faintly of lemony something. I’ll have to try it the next time I come across some. The last time I saw it, it was popping up as a friendly volunteer in a Colorado raised bed. I’ve liked it since, just on principle.

    Black cats and torties! I love torties and torbies (and calicos and calibys, of course), and that’s without even seeing them! Just going off descriptions, I’ve come to the conclusion that torties are bea-uuuuu-tiful, and the quirky tortie-tude can be charming. Then once in a while you meet a tortie (in my case it was several torties and torbies at once) who’s pretty much the sweetest lovey kitty there ever was. And black cats! <3 I always feel so bad for the black kitties, because they truly do get overlooked. When I find a cat-friendly apartment, I'll be looking for a couple FIV+ fuzzies to join the household, and I'll very likely end up asking about the black ones early on.