Monday, December 31, 2012

oh boy oh boy oh boy

The Syfy channel is airing a Twilight Zone marathon today and tomorrow.

New Year's Eve plans:  All set!

Jeez, I'm a dork.

A very happy dork. 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Snowmageddon It

Oh, dear lord, it just keeps snowing and snowing and SNOWING.

Here's my backyard:

What ...what is the wild creature tearing down the path from the shed?

Oh, it's Sodapop!

Here he is in a calmer moment, checking out all the snow:

Here's Ponyboy:

And here's Tinks:

The only one of us with any damn sense. obviously.

What's the weather like where you are today?

Friday, December 28, 2012

How many, How many, I wonder ...

A little over a year ago, I started fostering again.

And I got to wondering the other day how many I'd taken care of.

Let's see.  There was Sammy and Delilah and Dumplin'.

Then came the brothers, Mouse and Romeo. I cared for Itty Bitty, and then Molly. I had Betty Sue, briefly. Then came Tinks!  Who ended up becoming part of the crew here.  After Tinks was the Biblical Five (Leah, Jacob, Rachel, Zilpah and Bilpah) (I DO NOT NAME THESE CATS), although I don't know if they count because it was only for a few days. And then it was the Japanese Litter (Panko, Ponza, Chobani, Kikko and Kamiko), and then Leo and Lilly, and then Wanders.  Most recently, Aaron, Hobo and Moses.

If I'm counting right, that's twenty-five cats. 

Twenty-one of whom have found new homes.  Four are still in foster care (Itty Bitty, Kikko, Wanders and Moses). 

Twenty-five cats!  That's a lotta cats.  I think I'll take a little break.  After Virginia, Violet and Vinnie are done with their visit, that is.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Oh, the weather outside is frightful

Actually, no.  It's gorgeous.

The snow started around three-thirty this afternoon, and it's supposed to come down right until morning.

The first winter I was here, I took this photo out my front door during a snowstorm one night.  The scene is much the same tonight:

Right now, the cats are pissed off and fighting amongst themselves because I won't let them outside.  Tough titty, kitties.  I'm  not letting any of you out into a snowstorm.  Use the litterboxes; that's what they're there for.  Tomorrow morning, as I shovel and shovel and SHOVEL, and then shower, get dressed, and drive on slippery roads to work, I'll be cursing this snow.

But this moment, it's beautiful.


On Monday, I finally made it to the twenty-nine-cent sale at the Sal.

Every Monday, the Salvation Army thrift store puts all clothing with sale tags of a certain color on sale for twenty-nine cents.  Twenty-nine cents!

Usually, by the time I can get there after work on Monday night, the sale stuff is all gone.  But on Monday morning, I was doing some last-minute errand running, and I thought I'd stop by the sale.


One summer dress, five layering t-shirts, one patterned t-shirt, two long-sleeved shirts, and a cardigan.

For three dollars and two cents.

That's it.  I win at shopping.  It's time to retire the crown and rest on my laurels.  I. WIN.

In other news, the post office STINKS.  I mailed a package to my sister Texas on December 11, and she still hasn't gotten it.  What the f*ck, post office?  What the hell is wrong with you? 

and to the neighborhood dirtbag who rummaged through my car in the company parking lot and stole five bucks' worth of quarters out of the center console this morning:  Really?  REALLY?!  The day after Christmas, and you're rummaging through people's cars STEALING?!  Oh, f*ck you. Dick.  Jeezus CHRIST the office neighborhood sucks.
and in OTHER other news, the three Vs are still with me.  I was supposed to take them to the FC's house this morning, but she called and said she was ill, and asked if I could keep them for another day.

Another day of kitten-y goodness?  I guess so.  *sigh*  HA.

And tonight?  SNOWMAGEDDON.  Eight to twelve inches of crap I'll have to shovel out of my driveway.   On the bright side, it may get me a day off work tomorrow, or at least a morning, so there's that. 

What's up with you?

Monday, December 24, 2012

And so this is Christmas ....

 ... and what have you done?

another year over

and a new one just begun

and so this is Christmas

I hope you have fun

The near and the dear ones

the old and the young

A very Merry Christmas

and a happy New Year

Let's hope it's a good one

Now bring me a beer!

Merry Christmas, everybody!

From the foster kitties ...

the permanent residents ...

and me!

Now where's that beer?!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Meet Virginia

and Vinnie, and Violet.

Ginnie and Vinnie are toward the rear left, playing on the cat scratcher.  Violet is to the right, eating her breakfast.  "Ha!", she thought.  "I'll have the food all to myself while they're distracted!"

The three Vs are here for the holidays.  Welcome, guys!  Enjoy your stay.

Friday, December 21, 2012

It's all about the food. Duh.

To me, the holidays are all about the food.  I'm not religious, so they're not about God.  I'm not real close to most of my family, so it's not about them.

It's about the food.  The glorious, glorious food.

It started a couple of weeks ago, with a fundraising bake sale.

I have never in the history of the world managed to get my butt out of bed early enough on a Saturday morning to have breakfast before one of our rescue group's events, so volunteering to work a bake sale is a win-win.  I get to contribute AND have cookies for breakfast.

And one of our volunteers is a fanTAStic baker, so there's linzer cookies and chocolate-dipped oreos and those Italian waffle-iron cookies and hoo boy do I eat. 

The following weekend, there was ANOTHER bake sale.

And as we packed up the tables and chairs from THAT one, the fantastic baker volunteer presented me with a giant PLATTER of cookies.  Like, a MOUNTAIN of cookies.  Just for ME.

That afternoon, I realized that not even *I* was going to be able to eat that many cookies, so the following morning, I packed some into gift bags and gave them to my neighbors.

Yes, the re-gifting has already begun.  Say it with food!

But it's not all about the cookies.

This Christmas, I am going to be having shrimp.  And nachos.  And pizza.  And those little hot dogs in barbecue sauce.  And something called "sausage balls", which I have never had before (SHUT UP), but I saw them in Walmart and was powerless to resist.  Oh, and I'm pretty sure Velveeta will be involved at some point.  It's just not Christmas without Velveeta in there somewhere.

How about you?  What's your favorite holiday food?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Why, Walmart, Why?

Why are stuffing and boxed potatoes in the "condiments" aisle?  And why is gravy in the "baking needs" aisle?

Who bakes with gravy?

In their favor, they do not even make the pretense of putting Velveeta in the refrigerated section.  It's on a shelf with all the other processed foods with a storage life of a billion years.  So there's that.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Was it something I said?

One of the rescue group's new volunteers recently told the FC that she would no longer be helping out.  The reason she gave?  "I can't afford it right now."


Our group is basically the only one in the area that DOESN'T actively solicit funds from its volunteers.  Sure, if you've got some extra cash, we'll be glad to use it (FOR THE KITTIES), but what we're really looking for is people's time.

Time to do foster care.
Time to help out at adoption events.
Time to list cats and events on craigslist and on local community websites.
Time to bake cookies for one of our fundraising bake sales.
If you can't AFFORD to bake cookies, just help out at the sale.  Okay?  Thanks.  We'll even give you a ride there.

So, okay, this lady's excuse is total bullsh*t.  Which is fine, I mean, whatever, if you don't wanna help, that's okay, but it's left the rest of us volunteers wondering what was so awful about us that she quit our group after three events.

Was it when I grabbed a pair of scissors off the Agway shelf and asked J to cut my hair?  (Thanks, J, I needed a trim!)

Was it when J and I got bored and put harnesses and leashes on the cats and paraded them around the store?  (The cats loved it, I SWEAR.  Well, some of them did.) 

Was it when J and I got into a (very) lively discussion about what, EXACTLY, a "Bully Stick" dog treat is?

Hmmm ... I'm starting to see a pattern here ... It's J and I, isn't it?  We scared her away.

Come back, volunteer!  We'll tone it down! 

Oh, who am I kidding?  Hey, when you're sitting at an adoption event/bake sale/whatever for FOUR HOURS at stretch, things can get ... odd.  Leave a woman who wears men's underwear and collects deer skulls and a lady with purple hair to their own devices, and things can get interesting.

So here's a question.  Did you ever start volunteering for a group and then suddenly quit?  If so, why?

Was it me?

Because now I'm wondering.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The list

This list is taped under a light switch in my kitchen.  It's Little Girl's list from the summer before last; the summer of 2011.  I can't quite bring myself to take it down.

After The Runt died in April of 2011, Little Girl mourned.  And then she tested positive for a bum heart, the same thing that The Runt succumbed to.  And she went on heart meds.  And she kept right on hunting; she always loved to hunt.  I think I started the tally to remind myself that while I was trying to prepare myself for the possible loss of her, she was still very much alive.  And hunting.  And not concerned one whit about her stupid ol' bum heart.

And she lived until November of 2011.  Over a year ago now.  You can see how many conquests she had between May 16, when I started the list, and November.  And those were only the ones she brought to me!  I still think of her; maybe that's why I can't take the list down.  I still think of her, and she still matters.  As The Runt matters, and Rocky, and Ghost and Spooky and Elbows and all of the other cats I've had over the years.  They still matter.

So sometimes when I get down, when I start to worry about how I'm not making a real difference in the world, when I start to fret over how I'm not making my mark, I try to remind myself that we all leave our marks.  It might be a tally taped to a light switch, or it might be fond memories thought by someone we ourselves only thought of briefly, but we all were here.  We all left marks.

And we all matter.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Too cute

That's Fuzzy on the left, and Hansel on the right, at an adoption event on Saturday.

Fuzzy is the one we're holding out for a better home for.  Hansel was found, along with his sister Gretel, under somebody's front porch.   I think you can see Gretel, there, peeking out between the other two. 

And there's good news.  We had two adoptions on Saturday - Fred (yet another black cat (I think we've cornered the market on those)), and Sidwell, a big tabby boy.  Both of them have been in foster care for months, so it was great to see them get homes right before Christmas.

And it's a good thing I decided against a tree, because as it turns out, it looks like I'll have three (or possibly four) eight-week-olds for Christmas ... Deck the halls!  And fill up the spare litterboxes. Ha.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Gene ValGene

Hell, French class was a long time ago. 

I've been thinking about going to see the movie version of Les Miserables on Christmas day.  The LAST time I went to the movies on Christmas I saw "I am Legend", which, yeah, not so great a holiday choice.

So anyway, last night, TCM was showing the 1935 version, which I thought I'd watch, because I wanted to get myself caught up since it's been a while since I read the book, and may I say, the 1935 version does an admirable job of boiling down a long-ass, confusing book into the essentials, which I do appreciate. Two thumbs up.

I assume that Anne (I see London I see France I see you ain't got no underpants) Hathaway, who has been featured prominently at all of the premieres,  is playing Cosette.  Whyyyyyyy can't movie stars wear undies?  Don't they get tired of the updrafts in their evening gowns?

But wait!  According to IMDB, Anne Hathaway is playing ... Fantine?  And Amanda somebody is playing Cosette?  But aren't those actresses, like ... the same age?  And isn't Fantine Cosette's MOTHER? 

Okay, now I'm just confused. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Two weeks ago, one of the crazy cat ladies with whom I volunteer had one of her cats go missing.

The cat, Tucker, was always an indoor-outdoor cat, but on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, he went outside and didn't come back in.

She asked for advice on finding him and I offered some, having been through a few heart-pounding missing-cat episodes of my own.  Search the area, calling and shaking a bag of cat food.  Look down under shrubs and up into trees.  Immediately plaster the area with posters, because SOMEONE has seen him.   Have your neighbors check their sheds and garages.  Bribe the neighborhood kids with a cash reward for any sightings.  Talk to the mailman.  Check the shoulders of local roads, and call the highway department (don't make me go into detail on that one). Call the shelters.  Put it on Craigslist.  The typical stuff.

I told her about The Runt, who was once up a tree for three days.  About another volunteer whose cat came home after eight days.  About yet another volunteer whose cat wandered home after three MONTHS.

And we all waited for news.  As the weather got colder and the days got shorter and that one night we got an absolutely soaking rain, we waited for news of Tucker.  Hoping for the best, but wondering in the back of our minds if the worst hadn't already happened.

Yesterday on Facebook, after fifteen days, there was news.

"Tucker Kitty CAME HOME!"

Goddamit, I LOVE a happy ending.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

It's Official

The doctor just called.   The results of the bloodwork I had done last week are in.

I'm in menopause.

Um ... hooray?  Boo-hoo?

Not sure what I'm supposed to feel, here.

Or do.

Does this mean I have to starting wearing red hats and purple clothes?  Because those are my two least favorite colors.

Do I need to get more cats?  Because my house is pretty full right now.

Am I supposed to throw a party?  Like those awful parties some weird people throw when their daughters begin menstruating?  Because that sh*t ain't happening.  This is no one's business but mine.  (and yours. ha.)

F*ck, I can't even throw my condom stash away - still gotta protect against disease, doncha know.  Although honestly, those condoms have been gathering dust for quite some time.

I dunno.  Maybe I'll go shopping.  That sounds like a good idea. 

Shopping for support hose and Werther's candies.  SH*T.

I am old.  My body says so.

I don't FEEL old.  So I think I'll file this little tidbit away, as informative but not necessarily relevant.

There.  NOW I feel better.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Hahaha okay, car gods, cut the crap

Last Friday, one of my headlights cut out.  Forty dollars later, I was good to go.

On Saturday, I got rear-ended in traffic.

CUT IT OUT, car gods.  I'm not in the mood for this right now.

I have a leaky water heater.  My front door needs to be replaced.  When my washing machine drains, so does my toilet.  There are about NINE MILLION THINGS that need fixing around my place.  I do not need car problems right now.

Car gods, I JUST SPENT four hundred bucks to fix the radiator hoses.  Followed by three hundred bucks to fix the brakes. 

I HAVE PAID MY CAR GOD DUES.  Leave me alone now.

Please?  Thank you.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Year Without a Christmas Tree

Okay, so, on an earlier post I hinted about how this was gonna be The Year Without a Christmas Tree and nobody bit, but guess what? I'm gonna tell ya anyway.

Every year I do a tree. A couple of weeks before Christmas, I go buy a tree (live, OF COURSE) and haul it home and set it up and spend the whole afternoon decorating it and at some point disaster ensues but it doesn't matter because it's beautiful.

 A couple of weeks ago, I realized I was going to have SIX CATS in the house this December. My three boys, and three kitten fosters. And I decided not to do a tree. And honestly? I was RELIEVED. It's kind of a pain in the ass, to tell you the truth. And I started thinking about that old SNL skit where Mary Catherine Gallagher (who I couldn't STAND, honestly) does that soliloquy from some old ABC AfterSchool Special, "The House Without a Christmas Tree", and that cracked me up. 

Jason Robards was in that movie. Is he still around?

Anyway. No tree. And then two of the kittens were adopted, and the third moved on to another foster home, and all of a sudden I was back down to the three permanent cat residents. Hey! I thought. I could do a tree!


Tinks is a climber, and Pony's favorite place to hang out is on the window bookshelf which would have to be moved to make room for the tree, and

Nope. No tree this year. Call me Scrooge.

I DID put up the outside lights. And the wreaths. And the mailbox decorations. And I've got my mom's ceramic Christmas tree which she made, like, forty years ago, displayed in the living room, so my house is not totally devoid of Christmas. Keepin' the spirit alive, right here.  Ha.

Do you decorate for Christmas?  If so, how much?  Have your decorations lessened or expanded over the years.  Just curious ...

Saturday, December 08, 2012

What would you do?

I ran an adoption event today.  The star of the show was Fuzzy, an eight-week-old, long-haired, buff-colored kitten.  He came from a stray litter of four; the other three kittens passed away of unknown causes (possibly something congenital), leaving adorable Fuzzy as the sole survivor.

A woman filled out an application for him, and we started chatting, and she said that two years ago, she had a ten-year-old cat who started peeing outside his litterbox.

She did not take him to the vet to see if there was a medical reason.  She did not try adding more litterboxes, or changing the type of litter, or trying a different type of food, or spending more time with him.

She took him to the local SPCA and gave him up.

"Well," she said, "He was an old cat anyway.  And he was really my boyfriend's cat, not mine.  And I can't stand the smell of cat pee."

No Fuzzy for her.

Maaaaan, it can be a judgement  call on these things, and my decision is not the one that counts (I'm not the one who makes the final call), but I strongly recommended to the FC that her application be denied.  I explained the situation; it wasn't so much that she gave the cat up (OKAY YES IT WAS), as it was that she didn't even TRY to solve the problem first.  And she expressed absolutely no remorse about the decision she had made. 

Fuzzy is a kitten.  He is eight weeks old.  The odds that he is going to pee outside the litterbox occasionally for a few more weeks is virtually guaranteed.

No Fuzzy for her.

I don't know, you guys.  What do you think?  Did I make the right call?

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Yeahhhhh ... I didn't need to see that

Okay, so, first off, I found out at the doctor's yesterday that I had lost a few pounds, so I celebrated by eating a bunch of cookies.  Hey, it made perfect sense to ME.  And this, my friends, is why I'm not a brain surgeon.

Now.  There was an article in my local paper today (Yes.  I still read the print edition of the paper.  I subscribe, even.  They deliver it to my home.  I AM OLD.  IT IS OFFICIAL.) about the outcry over the NYC photog who snapped a pic of a man about to get run over by a subway train.  There is, of course, also outcry over the fact that the N.Y. Post PUBLISHED the photo.  And then, my local paper, for good measure, published the photo to accompany the article.

Now.  Given the amount of media I peruse, I was going to see that picture at some point.  It was inevitable.  But maybe it shouldn't be.

Maybe I'm just a delicate flower, but maaaaan, I don't need to see shit like that.  True confession:  I was once at a local swamp and came upon a giant snake eating a giant bullhead.  IT WAS AWESOME.  And I had my camera.  But I didn't take a picture.  I couldn't.  It would have been ... disrespecting the bullhead, somehow.

So yeah, maybe I'm just insane.  But I don't think it's necessary to widely publish photos of people (or fish, for that matter) who are about to die.  Did it happen?  Yes.  Do we have to SEE it?  I would contend not.

Then again, I can see bringing up the whole Holocaust argument.  Then again, there are people who STILL deny the Holocaust occurred, photos notwithstanding.

Should such pics be available for viewing?  Maybe.  Should they be available for viewing on the front page of a newspaper, where we are exposed to them whether or not we want to be?  Maybe not.  Maybe there are some things we don't need to see. 

And maybe it needs to be taken in context.  "Pics or it didn't happen" may be applicable and even valuable in some cases, but in this case?  In the case of one man about to lose his life to a subway train?  What is served by publishing that?  Besides selling more papers, that is.

I don't know.  I feel like I'm all over the place with this.  What do you guys think?

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

The M Word, Part Two

Okay, so, LAST year around this time I wrote about going to the doctor for my annual lady-parts exam and finding out that I may be entering menopause.

This morning, I had to go back for another annual exam (funny how that happens), and, well, the doctor wanted to run some more detailed tests.  To find out how CLOSE, exactly, I am to the M word.  She'll have the results in a few days.

I will tell you what.  Turning fifty one week and having to discuss menopause the next?  Makes me feel damn old.

Hey!  Kids!  GET OFF MY LAWN!

Monday, December 03, 2012

Poop. and Puke. and more Poop.

yeah, it was that kind of a weekend.

On Saturday morning, I had to take my three fosters to a rabies vaccination clinic.  The FC was taking four of HER fosters, so there we stood in line, the crazy cat ladies, two people with SEVEN kittens between us.

On the way to the clinic, Moses pooped in his crate.  Super.  On the way back home, he threw up in his crate.  Great.

Although actually, one of the FC's fosters, Miriam, managed to outdo him.  She pooped once and threw up TWICE.  Way to be an overachiever, Miriam.

So!  Moses came home.  Briefly.  You see, my other two fosters, Aaron and Hobo, were adopted on Saturday.  They went with the FC straight from the rabies clinic to their new home.  Where they are doing GREAT.  Go Aaron and Hobo!  The plan was that once Aaron and Hobo were adopted, Moses would go to another foster home, one that had kittens his age, because kittens need to be with kittens.  But there was a respiratory illness making its way through that household, so the FC asked if I could keep Moses for a week, until he could be transported to another foster home with kittens, one further away. Sure, I said.

So Moses came home alone.  And once he discovered that his playmates were no longer there, he was BEREFT.  HEARTBROKEN.  He wandered from room to room, calling out.  He ran excitedly up to my cats, only to sadly discover that they didn't want to play.  He cried.  He howled. 

Oh, it was awful.   He could not be consoled.  So I did the only thing I could think of; I called the foster home where he was supposed to go this next weekend.  "Is there any way," I asked, explaining the situation, "that you could take him a week early?"

"Of course!," the foster mom said.  "Can you bring him here in the morning?"

So I did it. Road trip. And Moses only pooped in the carrier once on the way there.  And now he is with other kittens, not at my lousy house where the only cats are BIG cats.  Have fun with your new playmates, Moses!

I hope he gets better with the car rides as he gets older.  Kitten poop SMELLS.