9-18-15 Friday

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How are you telling Combo and Skinny Pete apart? The old “nail polish in the ear” trick? Or just by their little meows?

Until Wednesday night I was going by their voices (and the fact that Skinny Pete is a chunky monkey), but Wednesday night I put a dab of yellow nail polish on Combo’s ear. When they get older, I’ll collar ’em up like I did the Swimmers.


How long has it been since the fosters outnumbered the permanents? You are certainly honoring the memory of those who have crossed to the Bridge by caring for so many teenies.

That is an excellent question, and I don’t know! It’s been a long time, that’s for sure.


Yay Combo! So do we know where he was that last 10 days or so?


Lucky Combo! I wonder what happened to their mama?


Any sign of Badger, Skinny Pete and Combo’s mama?

I imagine that Combo was with their mama, being moved from place to place until his big loud mouth made Mama say “Oh, good lord. Enough of this, let the humans have him!” and she stomped off to the nearest bar for a few shots. She’s still around, I imagine, and hopefully they’ll be able to get her trapped and spayed – and soon!


Do you think Badger, Skinny Pete and Combo will get to mingle with the SwimBugs?

I’m thinking not, simply because they’re not big enough to test yet – and won’t be before the SwimBugs head off to Petsmart – and although I’m sure they’re perfectly healthy, I don’t want to expose the SwimBugs to any bugs they might be carrying, and vice versa.


Surely that should be at CATACIPY. Oh god I crack myself up.

You cracked me up, too!


That blurry picture of Badger…at his age, isn’t his view of YOU blurry? So when you look at that picture, you’re seeing how he sees you! I think that’s really cool.

That’s a good point! And oh, I love that picture so very much, still.


Do you think that bottle-fed baby cats grow up to be more affectionate?

Oh, absolutely. Affectionate lapcats is what you tend to end up with, at least in my experience.


Fosters are so judgmental. Always reflecting on how your windows and mirrors need to be cleaned. But do they ever lend a paw? Noooooo! Of course not. Typical.

I know, right?!


Just had to share … you need a kitten ring, Robyn!

YES. Yes, I do!


But is Skinny Pete a repeat name? I know you had a Peter before, didn’t you, with the Brady Bunch?? Or am I mis-remembering?

I did have a Peter with the Brady Bunch, but “Peter Brady” and “Skinny Pete” are two entirely different names – at least in the Challenger’s House computer system.

On a related note, I think I mentioned that we’re working our way through Breaking Bad for the third time (it’s been two years since the last time), and I never noticed before that when Jesse is talking to Skinny Pete, he doesn’t call him “Pete.” He calls him “Skinny.” Something about that cracks me UP.

(Unlike Skinny Pete the kitten, Skinny Pete the human character in the show really is awfully skinny.)


Could you post a link again to the little dog houses you got for shelters outside? Thanks!

I’ve got two kinds of dog houses now! In the back yard we have two of the Trixie Small Log Cabin Dog Houses, which we got from Overstock. (You can also get it from Amazon; Amazon has it for the exact same price as Overstock, at least today they do.) Those are the houses that the cats who don’t leave the back yard hang out in. Kara, especially, ADORES hanging out in there during the day.

Under and next to our side stoop, we have the Arf Frame Dog House with Dark Frame in X-Small, which I was going to get from Wayfair, but found cheaper on Amazon (and for the record, those houses were NOT $59.99 when I bought them. They were $46.99). Oh! Okay, I just went and looked at Wayfair, and TODAY the houses are cheaper there, here’s the link. That could (probably will) change, so I’d check both Wayfair and Amazon, and maybe even Google around before you decide where to buy yours (if you’re going to buy one, that is).

Fred actually likes the Arf Frame Dog House a little more than the ones we have in the back yard – he likes the look of them, and he says they were much easier to put together. It was my idea to get houses to replace the shelters under the side stoop, because rainwater would pool in the top of the shelters (made from big Rubbermaid containers) and then it would get all nasty-looking, and I’d have to crawl under there and dump the water off. With the houses, the water should run right off. Of course, it’s been too warm for Maxi to decide whether she likes them or not, but hopefully she will.


I was just thinking to myself last night when you posted the Badger (I think?) pic on Facebook: “How is she going to refer to these three?” Then it hit me: The BeeBees! It handily combines “B”reaking “B”ad with something that sounds like “Baybees,” which they are. Adorably so.

I LOVE this! I was thinking of “Breaking Bad Kittens”, but meh. I like BeeBees much better!


Have you ever fostered more black kittens at once than you have now? I think this is a record! I love the housepanthers, I adopted one last year.

It very well might be a record! I’ve never had a housepanther that was anything less than completely awesome. Kathie says they know they’re the last to get adopted, so they try harder!


FYI – I think you purchased ALL the beds, because Amazon is sold out & doesn’t have any on order… My cats will admire the photos of Dennis in the bed from afar. πŸ™

Just keep checking back – they went out of stock when I first saw them, but they came back after a while.


It just occurred to me that you left out a trio of bottle babies!

A few summers ago…they were visiting for a weekend while their foster mom was away…little orange dude was named Butter, and I can’t remember the other 2 little muffins’. But they did threaten to tell their Momma that you were a bad babysitter because you were making them wait too long for their bottle. Sassy little babies, but, oh were they ever cute! I think their post is on the Fav Posts page.

I can’t believe I forgot to include them! There were three of them, an orange tabby (Butter) and two brown tabby girls whose names I totally could not remember, even though Eva told me their names twice. And they were, indeed, bottle babies. They were ADORABLE, weren’t they? I posted about them here and here.


Zuke was the first one to notice that the feather teaser was out. He was all “Guys, I think the feather teaser is…”

And Torres was immediately up on two legs, waving her front paws in the air. “I’ve got it, guys. I’ve got it!”


“::grab:: I’ve…got… um…”

Zuke offered commentary: “Yeah, dude. I don’t think you got it.”

“They’re all goobers.”

“I’LL GET IT!” (She didn’t get it.)

“Maybe if I sit right here, it’ll come back by.”

Spitz in the sun. Look at that pouty face!

7 of the 8 SwimBugs on Fred’s bed.

And 6 of the 8.


After he has his first turn at the bottle, Badger likes to go back into the crate and judge the way I feed his brothers.

“What you mean the bottle is empty?!”

These three are SO HARD to get in one picture that I had to ask Fred to help out. Left to right it’s Skinny Pete, Badger and Combo. Would have been nice if they’d all been looking in my direction, but whatcha gonna do?


For those of you who wanted to hear Combo’s husky little pack-a-day voice, here you go!

YouTube link.


Oh, Archie. Such a sweet boy. He always looks REALLY intense, and he kind of made me nervous when he first started coming around. It maybe doesn’t come across in pictures, but he always looks like he could snap and rip your face open. He’s never bitten or scratched me even once, though, he’s always the perfect gentleman.


2014: Throw Back Thursday: Buster.
2013: First Sopranos post!
2012: Apparently Magoo is not terribly tasty.
2011: No entry.
2010: No entry.
2009: β€œTERRY,” I said. β€œI thought I was your true love! I thought you loved me best, and now you’re laying in her arms like you could just lay there forever!”
2008: Sights from around Crooked Acres.
2007: β€œOh lord, how much more must a poor kitteh suffer? How much longer, lord?”
2006: Maddy loves the belly rubs.
2005: No entry.



9-18-15 Friday — 37 Comments

  1. Oh, I love that picture of Butter! Thanks for posting it again.

    What Fred is doing is his contribution to you being able to get in you full quota of Kitten Marshmallow Ball and Ears kissing and huffing. I looks like Badger’s getting a kiss from one of her brothers and is on the verge of a “grosssss…dude…”.

    • Man, where’s my head. That should be “Kitten Marshmallow Belly, Head and Ears” kissing and huffing.


      IT looks like Badger’s getting a kiss from one of the bros…

      5:12 in the morning.

  2. Good LORD, I have Butter’s picture on my home pc’s screen! I love him so much! (Then again, I also have Charlie and Patty Peppers judging you, Dingwall Scotty’s floof suit and an annoyed Purslane. Love ’em, love ’em, love ’em.)

  3. I think Badger is going to be a very handsome cat, his face markings are exquisite. Cute and adorable right now at this stage but when he gets older I bet he’ll be a striking tabby.

    I very much like the nickname BeeBees for these little Breaking Baddies!

    I love Archie. There’s something about him and Stefan that I just adore to bits. For being strays they are such good boys (but not pushovers!) and have a different vibe (for me) from all the other permies. It’s funny that Stefan looks stoned all the time & Archie looks perturbed all the time. These two would be hilarious in a TV sitcom, heehee!

  4. They are all getting to the gorgeous stage now. Are they 5 wks old? and I thought you also had a Peter with the Pickles group. Now I will have to go look πŸ™ <not really-<3 all the kittehs!

    • Okay, I looked and I knew your readers would want to know:

      You must like the names Peter and Paul. You have fostered the following “Peter”‘s and “Paul”‘s:

      Peter Brady=Brady Bunch
      Petey Pickle=Pickles
      Skinny Pete=BeeBees

      Paulie Walnuts=Sopranos
      Paul Simon

      I will let someone else work the girls out. I don’t think Mary was used much but I think Lucy and Molly are possible #1 contenders.

      • I DO like the names Peter and Paul! I wouldn’t have guessed that I’ve used them both so many times, though.

        Mary was used at least twice – Maggie’s official name was Mary Margaret, but I never ever ever called her that. I just love the name Maggie and it had been used before, so “Mary Margaret” was my workaround. πŸ™‚

  5. I thought Butter was a bottle baby!! Oh that face!! But I had too much on my plate yesterday to start a search for the posts – I knew if I even looked down that rabbit hole there would be no coming back! πŸ˜€

  6. Good Morning Crooked Acres! I just wanted to let you know that you frequently make my day. Whenever I’m having a nasty day or mood I come skim through “random posts” and feel better. and today was one of those days: I woke up MAD from a dream which as soon as I woke up I knew was a dream and it was stupid to be MAD but you know how those go – I was still MAD. then I got MAD at my kid on the way to school (like almost made him walk 4 miles MAD); then the breakfast place I was counting on going to and getting breakfast for the firm was inexplicably closed (police tape around the parking lot, but no official cars and not a bunch of activity, so not sure what happened, but probably close to opening back up from whatever); then I got pounced on to do 4 things IMMEDIATELY when I walked in the office door. So – none of it major, and all of it stuff I could get over, but all piled together in 2 hours and no break – made kitten viewing mandatory! So thank you again, for all you and Fred do and for your very thorough and consistent documenting of it and sharing it with us. It’s not just that you guys do all of this – it’s that you also faithfully take pictures and post and keep this little community a place to come and be a community. MWAH! Big hugs and kisses to you!

  7. Butters was one of 5 two week old kittens rescued with their mother, Sharon, from Huntsville Animal Services on April 14, 2003. Other kittens were BW, Tuttle, Mackey, and Tweek.

  8. No, Archie looks intimidating in the pictures too.

    I know that he was named for Archie Bunker but he looks like a Ray Winstone gangster from the West/East/Whichever End. Glad to hear that he’s ‘a perfect gentleman.’

  9. So what you are saying is that Archie has resting b*tch face? I feel his pain — people often think I am going to slash their face open πŸ™‚

    Speaking of strays, a question for you Robin (and your other readers)– when you have a kitty come around, how do you determine if it is just visiting or if it is looking for permanent residence? I ask because I believe that someone has abandoned their indoor/outdoor cat in my apartment complex (probably after moving away). I have affectionately named her Chalupa and she might be in heat (a feral male has been shadowing her). She is looking skinnier than normal and has extended her roaming range. She often comes by to longingly gaze at my kitties and their pampered life through the window. I am not looking for any new additions, but I do volunteer for a rescue organization that could find her a great home. I just don’t want to abduct someone’s cat. Does a note on a collar work? What do you write?

      • *fistbump* back at ya! (I’ve found that responding to requests/commands to smile by doing either a wild-eyed grimace or a cross-eyed stoned look seems to keep people from repeating their mistake :))

        And I second the question about how to tell a stray from someone’s outdoor cat.

    • CHALUPA. I love that name. πŸ™‚ That’s a good question, and I can tell you that around here, if a cat shows up and is really hungry, hangs around a lot, and only takes a little while to warm up, they’re probably strays – though we do check with the neighbors, just to be safe.

      I would put a note on her collar that simply says something like “Hi, this kitty has been coming around my house a lot. I want to make sure she has a home and is cared for – if she’s yours, can you let me know?” and include your preferred contact information. I’ve put notes on collars a few times in the past and never heard anything – though I did it once, and the cat never came around again, so I suspect his owners decided to keep him inside!

      • Awww kitties named after fast food would be so funny!
        Taco Bell; Chalupa; Pinto; Gordita; and Burrito
        You could also do the restaurants themselves: McDonald; KFC; BK; Wendy; Arby; etc.

  10. My folks, now retired, are both veterinarians. Neither worked with cats and neither much like them (I am the outlier in the family in several senses). Whenever I’d foster little babies, which wasn’t terribly often, my father would tell me that ‘everyone knew’ that bottle raised kittens grew up to be troubled cats as adults. He could never explain what the trouble was and how it was different than the type of trouble ALL adult cats are, and I never heard it from anyone other than him, but still. He disapproved of bottle raising kittens based on some old country vet folklore he couldn’t explain. I’d be interested in knowing if anyone else has ever heard this thing that everyone knows, and can provide more details on the particular type of trouble these cats grow up to display.

    • The only thing I have ever seen about bottle babies is the fact that our local shelter tries to foster them (ideally starting when they’re being bottle-fed but at least after weaning) in a house where there’s an adult cat, so they can learn how to be a cat.

      I had a bottle baby years ago, and he was an only cat until he was about 1-1/2 (and the second cat was also a bottle baby, so he was no help). He was always a little goofy, and definitely preferred humans to other cats, but he wasn’t a problem at all–he was very good-natured and easy-going. The second bottle-baby was a special case, in that he was pretty obviously slightly brain-damaged (he was found at about 2 weeks old in a garbage bag in the dumpster of my apartment complex. The rest of his litter didn’t survive, and he almost didn’t make it himself), so I have no idea whether being bottle-fed had any effect on him. He was very sweet, but very skittish because everything confused him.

    • I can only speak from my experience, in that 1) I’ve never heard that bottle babies were more trouble as adults, and 2) the greatest cat my family ever had was bottle-raised before we adopted him. He was different, sure, but in good ways — he was a very calm, mellow, yet curious cat. Car trips didn’t phase him, visitors to the house were always objects of interest, and he had a charming habit of sitting with our elderly next-door neighbors on their porch every evening as they enjoyed the sunset. We took him to the vet without need of carrier or harness, and when someone in the family was sad or crying, he insisted on being near them, whereupon he would assume the kittyloaf position and purr like crazy. I don’t know if he was with other cats before he came to us, but I agree with what Maggie said about fostering bottlebabies with other cats. I think that’s a good idea.

    • I’ve never heard that bottle-fed kittens are troubled; I’ll be interested to hear if anyone else has heard that!

      I will say that I’ve only had one bottle baby (Maddy) who was a singleton, and I’d never do that again. Kittens very much need other kittens around as they grow, so they know how to relate to each other. If I ever end up with another singleton, I’ll find someone to join them ASAP.

  11. Hay LAYYYYDEEEEEE! When do we get a video of all three baby Baddies? I want to hear all their little voices!