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Question for Friday: Do you know what marking/coloring the Weed’s mama cat is? Just curious!

She’s white! Not only is she white, but she’s got one blue eye and one green. This is NOT their mother, but I suspect she looks something like this:

(That’s Sofia, who was our foster back in 2010, along with her brothers and sister.)

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Is Jake a Russian Blue? He reminds me of my gorgeous girl cat I had while growing up.

He might be! He and Elwood were abandoned on our doorstep three years ago, so we’re not sure of what exactly they are. They kind of look like they could be Russian Blues, but they don’t have the really bright green eyes of Russian Blues.

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The ham feeding reminded me of this

I rarely sit and watch videos longer than 60 seconds, but I watched that entire video, and LOVED it!

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Long time reader, first time commenter- I know you love people’s dreams. I had a dream this weekend that I needed to stop talking to my friend Erin (another big fan of your blog) because I had urgent business to attend to with you! I had names for your next batch of kittens- the Busters! They were named after the dust buster and the kittens would be Decker, Dyson and Eureka. I was desperate trying to remember the last kitten’s name and I was screaming “THE ONE WITH THE BOWLING BALL!!!” which I now recognize would be a kitten named Oreck lol!

I love this name theme idea! Also, there were additional suggestions for the theme:

Don’t forget Bissell! Bissell Buster! (yeah, I’m cracking myself up over here…)


I always said my next dog was going to be named Hoover, since Grizzly did such a stellar job of keeping the floor clean. Then this one came with the name Charlie. He knew it, so we went with it.


The Busters is awesome! I love it! Do they make Kirby dust busters?

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Oh, I also have a question about Alice. You said the doctor told you she’d stay a small cat. How old was Alice at this point? I have a cat who’s a year old, but he’s so small compared to my other cats, only 8 pounds! Especially in comparison to our other boycat, who’s nearly 14 lbs! I always thought 1 year was pretty much full grown, but wondered when Alice started getting bigger. Snoopy might stay small, though, his mom is fairly small, and she’s a stray who I haven’t been able to get fixed, but usually never has more than 2 or 3 kittens, so maybe his size is a bit stunted?

When the vet said Alice would stay small (LIES! All lies!), Alice was about 6 months old. I think by the time she was a year, she’d gone past “small” to average-sized, and now she’s a full-figured gal. Cats do keep growing past a year, I know that for sure. I would say that if he’s still small at 2 years, he probably won’t get bigger than that (though that’s also not always true – I’ve heard of cats who waited to hit their full size ’til they were three years old, some even later!) If his mother is small, he just may be taking after her.

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Thistle actually looks like she’s batting at the ball in the picture above her!

She certainly does! I hadn’t noticed that.

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At work on Labor Day…no crisis at the moment so I’m reading some of the posts on your food blog. I miss the photos with Inspector Stompers. Was wondering if Tony RH Pickle could maybe inspect a few dishes…he has the belly for it.

We’ll see what we can do about training The Terrible Pickle to inspect for food blog pictures!

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Wouldn’t it be neat if the new forever families knew that their new adoptees had such a huge fan club base? How many people had kept up with their progress and sat on pins and needles while the adoption process was going on? And how we all get excited and cheer for them when it happens? And shed a few tears of relief? I wish they only knew…

In the bag of toys that go home with my fosters, there’s also get a note letting their new parents know about this blog, along with the direct link on where to start (url to the post where they were introduced here on the blog). So, they have the ability to come and read about their new kitten and the readers who love them, if they’re interested. 🙂

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Robyn-I didn’t get a chance to post this in time for today’s round up of questions/comments so maybe you could put it in next week? Is there a place on the website (or can you list them yourself) where you have all the themes you’ve used in the past? It would be neat to see what you’ve used and also be able to suggest other themes without repeating some (and then feeling dumb).

Well, there’s this page, which is only updated through the end of June 2010 (I keep meaning to add to it, but… haven’t. Clearly.), and in the sidebar there’s a link to all previous fosters, which goes to this page – which isn’t totally complete because between Rambo & Jodie (2005) and Kara, River, Inara, Kaylee & Zoe (2008), there are about two years’ worth of fosters that I still need to cut and paste over here. That’s eternally on my to-do list. Maybe I’ll actually get around to it this Fall!

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Fingers crossed for the Weeds. Can you tell us what the policy of the rescue is if the test remains positive? Fortunately more and more groups are realizing that FIV isn’t so bad, but every group is different. I had thought that maybe Dandelion’s eye color just hadn’t changed yet, but then saw her sisters so maybe she will get to keep those brilliant blue eyes!!!

In the past, I believe it’s been shelter policy to euthanize FIV positive cats. But if these girls were to end up definitely FIV positive (which I really and truly think they won’t), I’d keep them here until we could find a home for them.

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Robyn, do you and Fred ever get to take a vacation together with all your permanent animals? It must be hard to get away and have someone care for your indoor & outdoor animals. This may sound like a weird question but it comes from a suburban mom with only one cat and occasional foster kittens. I sometimes have a hard time finding care for one cat when we travel.

We haven’t taken a vacation together since we bought this house in 2006. When we lived in the ‘burbs, we’d occasionally go away for a few days, and Fred’s parents would check on the cats and scoop litter boxes for us (we also had a lot fewer cats back then!) The main reason we haven’t gone anywhere since we bought the house is because Fred would worry an awful lot about the chickens and dogs, but seriously – it’s time to get away for a few days! He has the week between Christmas and New Year’s off, so we’re talking about going away then. I don’t know if it’ll happen, but I hope it does!

PS: Awww, look what I found! Pictures from the very first time we met Maxi!

She was so tiny!

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The picture of Dandelion as the “Fluffmonster” reminds me of one of your chickens 🙂

2011-12-15 (20)

I definitely see the resemblance!

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I maded a LOL and gave you credit for the pic.

I was on a roll and made another one!

Too cute!!!

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I am sure I can’t be the only one to look at the second photo of Tony Pickle and think there might be some looniness in his future…

Oh, I DEFINITELY see the loony potential! Just wait ’til he gets to spend some time with the King of the Loons!

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Is it just me or in the first of her pictures, does Purslane look like the app of the talking cat you use sometimes so we can hear your special cat songs? Named Tom the Kitten??

Talking Tom! I think it’s something to do with the earnest looks on their faces. 🙂

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Can we have video of the Weeds voicing their complaints? And, by, “we” I, of course, mean “me,” for I have a weakness for whiny kitten footage, especially when they whine right into the lens.

I’ll see what I can do – the Weeds are actually not a very vocal trio, they might peep at me a few times if they think it’s time to eat and I’m just sitting there, but I’ll do my best to get ’em talking.

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Terrible Tony still has the ratbat thing going on, but he looks SOLID now! How does he compare weight wise with his siblings? Is he catching up, or just growing steadily at his own pace?

As of Tuesday evening, the Terrible Pickle weighed in at 1 pound, 11 1/2 ounces. His siblings weigh between 2 pounds, 6 ounces (Petey) and 2 pounds, 7 1/2 ounces (Polly and Joe). He’s still quite a bit smaller, but he’s definitely catching up. I thought for sure he was at 2 pounds, because he feels like a heavy little brick when I pick him up, but he’s not there yet. (You can compare that to the Weeds, who the same evening were at 1 pound, 4 1/2 ounces (Purslane), 1 pound, 5 1/2 ounces (Thistle) and 1 pound, 6 1/2 ounces (Dandelion).)

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The kitties look so healthy and fluffy. You are a Cat Whisperer! Do you play music for them? My semi-feral cat, Moo Moo, used to love listening to “smooth jazz” while eating his dinner. Then I’d let him out for a night of fighting, chasing lady cats and hunting.

I leave a radio playing for them – on low – during the day. They get to listen to either Country music or Top-40s stuff. Polly’s quite partial to Katy Perry; Purslane loves her some Keith Urban. 🙂

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Dandelion looks like she’s sporting the bat look too, with that translucent armpit action!

She certainly does! No wonder she flies through the air with such ease when she’s chasing her sisters around the room.

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Connie asked the other day, oh-so-casually, how recently I’d checked my PO Box. It had been a few weeks, so yesterday morning when I was out running errands, I made a point of stopping by. I suspected there might be something waiting for me, but I totally did NOT expect to find a pack of Winnie’s Wish Toys from Andrea – Connie made the donation to Winnie’s Wish and directed Andrea to send the toys to me because she knows how my poor babies don’t have ANY toys at ALL!

As soon as I got home, I went into the guest bedroom to share with the Pickles.

To say that the toys were a hit is a HUGE understatement!

I dumped the toys on the floor, and the Pickles were all like “What’s THIS?!”

I love how Petey has his hand on Polly’s head, like he’s saying “Hold on a minute, Sis. I believe this one is for ME!”

Polly lost no time in kicking that kicker.

She thought that the boa attached to the kicker was an awfully nice (tasty) touch!

Percy thought the string was DA BOMB.

Picklehead was a fan of the feather.

Polly hugging the heart-shaped pillow, but keeping an eye on the string.

Polly on one end of the string, Picklehead on the other, and Percy crossing over to check out the square pillow embroidered with “Winnie’s Wish.”

“String, I luff you.”

And then SOMEONE claimed the string for himself when Polly wasn’t looking.


Picklehead found that the heart-shaped pillow was the perfect size for little guys to kick.

Everyone’s got a toy! (Joe had just kicked the kicker away right before I snapped this picture.)

Percy and the string again.

“Where ya GOIN’, Mister String?!”

Every single time I’ve gone back into the guest bedroom, there have been at least two Winnie’s Wish Toys being played or snuggled with. These kittens LOVE these toys – and all those toys for a mere $15 donation? You really can’t beat that! Go get you some!!!

(Thanks, Andrea – and thanks again, Connie!)

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Doesn’t this look totally posed? Like I told them how to pose in these silly, CLEARLY fake positions and made them hold it? TOTALLY back-to-school JC Penney Catalog.

“Hey, you got a tail!”
“You do, too!”
“When did that happen?”
“I don’t know!”

Poor Thistle, being picked on by Dandelion ALL the time. Her little outraged face is killing me.

Using the feather teaser and much coaxing, I convinced Purslane that she might enjoy the view out the window.

“There’s a whole ‘nother world out there!”


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Did you know that Corbie is beautiful? True story!

We call this “The Lean-To.” Originally, the wood was over the air conditioning unit, protecting it from the elements, but it got knocked over, and then the cats started hanging out under it, so I’m sure it’ll be propped up like that for them forever and ever.

Corbie wants everyone to know that it’s HIS, so he whisker-marks it a lot.

It’s got a good view of the side yard, so he likes to sit there and watch the squirrels through the fence.


2011: I hope you weren’t trying to swear Sunday afternoon, because we were using up all the profanities.
2010: They were distinctly underwhelmed.
2009: When a kitten falls asleep on you, it’s bad luck to wake them up.
2008: No entry.
2007: Wherein Stinkerbelle becomes a permanent resident.
2006: No entry.
2005: Good thing for him he’s so cute.



9-7-12 — 46 Comments

  1. I’ve been negligent with my blog reading and just catching up to the fact that you have two litters of kittens right now! Did the Weeds test positive for FIV or is their mother FIV? We took in a foster last year who tested positive for FIV at 8 weeks. We had him retested at 6 months and he tested negative. Vet said the mother antibodies stay in their system until at least that long so never go by a test that early. Also it’s not really contagious to the other cats, it would require a deep puncture bite. My brother has 3 cats, one is FIV positive and the other two are perfectly fine and 3 different vets told him it wouldn’t be an issue. His cats are already inside cats so its no change from what he would do anyway but the vet told him to not let the cats outside as it would make the kitty more vulnerable to colds and respiratory infections.

    The Weeds are the sweetest looking little babies and I just want to snuggle them! I have a cat named Purslane too (named after the character in A Love Song for Bobby Long) – but mine is a big fat orange tabby.

    • Their mother is FIV positive; they tested positive when first tested, but we’ll be retesting again in a few weeks (and then a few months after that, and so on, until we get a negative result – which I am completely expecting.)

      This is our third litter who has tested positive for FIV – the Wonkas and the Bookworms were initially positive and then eventually tested negative – and I’m sure the Weeds will do so as well. 🙂

  2. Totally love the needy cat clip!! LOL!!! So so true – especially the “here’s my butthole!” LOL!!

    Take care

    • “Have you seen this?” LOL!

      At some time I have read that when cats do that, they are acknowledging you as alpha cat and giving you sniffing rights! Now, don’t you feel honored?

  3. Your lean-to reminds me of the time my son left a sleeping bag unrolled on my living room floor (he MUST have just gotten home from a scout excursion, otherwise I can’t fathom the reason why). Simba claimed it and dragged it into the kitchen, where I allowed it to remain for over a month because he liked “camping” on it. The only reason I finally put it away was that the in-laws were coming for the holidays.

    My fosters had the same conversation about tails about a week ago. “Hey, your tail moves!” “YOURS DOES TOO!!!!” Right before they discovered the joy of pouncing on each other’s tails.

    I’ll see your white kitten and raise you one. Two white kittens born to a tortie mama living in my upstairs bathroom with their three tabby siblings. Good gracious they’re teeny!

  4. With all the nicknames you have for Tony Pickles, I would not be at all surprised if he doesn’t become a permanent resident!

  5. Oh man, that Corbie is heart-breaker!

    Is it wrong to love beautiful little Purslane from afar? Does that qualify as stalking? I want to hug her and squeeze her and call her George.

  6. Tony Pickle just slays me with his little belly. He reminds me so much of my Ares when he was a little bit of a kit. I’ve finally placed why I’ve had a song stuck in my head for the last few days,and I think it was brought on my the description of Mr. Tony as a rat-bat. So, here’s “King Rat” by the Guana Batz:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qL9V3w4JtEI

  7. I had to laugh about the Weeds momma being white. Our foster Doc was white with bi-colored eyes, his momma was white and his sister is a brown tabby. Cat genetics – gotta love them.

    Thanks for the info about the FIV and that you plan to keep them no matter what. That is the one thing I fear and I can’t imagine giving back kittens knowing that was their fate. We had a group test positive for FeLV and I am lucky in that the rescue group has space for these cats (though 2 of the boys managed to throw it and no one else survived it).

    Love the lean-to….. 😉 The Corbs is pretty handsome.

  8. Thanks for all the answers today Robyn. When I asked the question about the names I was kinda of thinking of a short list. Kelly has decided to make it easy with naming all the litters after presidents to keep track. In your link I see Wonkas, Cookies, and of course we now have Weeds, Maters, and Taters. I was just wondering about other groupings. I LOVE the Dust Buster theme too btw! I also have a Kirby vacuum so that will have to be used as well.

      • I have one of those too Robyn and it’s LOOOOOOONNNGGGGG. I totally understand and will stop bugging you now.

  9. I didn’t want to bore you with my Crooked Acres dream, but I decided it’ll probably make you laugh, so I’ll share. 😀
    I was foster-sitting and somehow they got sick. You yelled at me (and made me cry) because I didn’t give them their medicine, but you didn’t give it to me. I was so afraid that the poor Weeds would die and you’d hate me and ban me from your blog (and future foster-sitting). I think I was at a Humane Society because there were TONS of animals running around. I was heartbroken to think I made the Weeds sick.
    Speaking of the Weeds – I’m going to steal Purslane. Not really, but I wouldn’t complain if she was waiting for me when I got home tonight.

      • Well, why didn’t you tell me that before you left me with a thousand kittens? I gave them tons of snuggles instead – does that help any?

  10. Gorgeous Corbie! If there’s anything as interesting to cats as something to get on top of, it’s got to be something to get under.

  11. The Needy Cat video had me just hollering in my office…luckily there aren’t many people here today or I’d have a lot of ‘splaining to do! But it seems like everytime I turn around at home, someone is poking a paw under a door and whining…and the door doesn’t even have to be closed! But now I know it’s just a paw on a stick that they are passing around!

  12. Next Labor Day, Fred may want to come down to Atlanta for Dragoncon. It’s like Comic-Con, but for nerds. Usually a high concentration of writers too.

    Love to buy him or both of you a drink at the Pulse Bar.

    • He’s a bit too much of an introvert to do that – but I’ll suggest it just the same. Sometimes he surprises me. 🙂

      • That’s part of the draw for Dragon*Con – no one really has to know who you are in real life. Plus – if you just people watch – it’s worth the price of admission usually.

        • oh my stars – and maybe Robin could meet JEN from CakeWrecks / Epbot(who always goes to dragoncon) and the universe would implode! LOL

      • Not everybody wears almost nothing and parties at DC. I’d say that there’s a good fourth-third who wander around in the non-bar levels wearing old DC t-shirts and go to panels to argue re: space elevators, writing seminars, and which Doctor they prefer.

        Favorite t-shirt: Cats and Books. What Else Do You Need?

  13. How can that tiny ratbat have such enormous clodhopper feet?! Wonder if he will grow into them or stay that way? Someone may have commented on this previously-I’m a bit brain dead lately.

    Purslane is without a doubt my nominee for THE CUTEST KITTEH EVER!!!!!!! I would want to kiss and hug on her all day long!

  14. Whisker marking! In our house, it’s called “making nice,” from the southern way of telling a child to behave or hug & kiss someone.
    Also, please send me a box of the toys AND the kittens, thankyouverymuch. My address is Squee Lane, Nokittensville, HI.

  15. I just love Tony H. R. Picklestuf!! What a lucky lady, getting to live with KITTENS!! I only have blorpy, disinterested and totally bored feline landmasses at my house.

    • I LOVE that new name for the little guy. It sounds like one of those pro-wrestler things…and in this corner we have Terrible Tony H.R. Picklestuff. LOL!

  16. That video had me totally cracking up! I swear, that is so Star, “here’s my butt!”

    Yay! I’m so glad you got your toys! Connie told me she was going to ‘suggest’ you might want to check your PO box! Very happy that the kittens loved the toys! My Leo didn’t like catnip ANYthing until he was almost two and it wasn’t until I started making these toys that he would even look at it! So I was a little surprised that your kittens liked them, but wow, the power of catnip, huh? What surprised me the most is the people who say that their old, non-player cats are going nuts for the toys too! Doing this FUNdraiser has been so much fun for me, and the cause is really a good one, so thank you for the extra plug!

    By the way, that “string, I luff you” picture with Polly, I think, is so what Leo does with his special stringy! He chews the knot! And the sides.. but he will sit holding it in his paws while he worries the knot, the goofball!

    Corbie? Oh… just a gorgeous cat I see.. MOL

    • I’ve always heard that cats don’t feel the effects of catnip ’til they’re at least 6 months old, but the Pickles were certainly acting like they were feeling it! 🙂

  17. I just showed my son Dandelion’s picture. We had to look up what dandelions look like and realized that they’re what my son used to call (and still does, even just now as we were arguing what dandelions look like before we looked it up) “wishing flowers”. When we went for walks around the neighborhood, he’d pick all the “wishing flowers” and blow on them. Even the more reason to adopt your Dandelion! 🙂

  18. Regarding kitten growth: I’ve had the fastest and slowest growing kittens. I swear Marmalade would look bigger when I came home from work than when I’d left in the morning! He was 10 pounds by the time he was 4-months-old! But Valentino took forever to grow, and I started worrying that I’d given him the wrong formula in his bottle. (A friend found him in a Dumpster when he was just two-weeks-old.) Valentino didn’t reach his full 10 pounds until he was over 2-years-old. The vet kept assuring me he was a slow grower, but I wouldn’t believe it until I saw it. Marmalade (16 pounds) and Valentino are both happy and healthy and love to play together. They just grew at very different rates.

  19. Hey, I put Tony RH’s badge on my facebook page, stating he would eventually be available at Challenger’s House and then when I looked up the address I saw that Tony will be available in Toney 🙂