Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Apartment Files: The Naked Neighbor, Part III

Here it is ... the moment you've been waiting for ... THE REST OF THE STORY.

Let's see!  When I left off, I had just discovered that my neighbor had been BREAKING INTO MY APARTMENT to use my phone to call phone sex lines.  (Keep in mind, this was back before the days of internet porn.  Porn was not as easily available then as it is today.  Phone sex lines were totally a thing.)


I called a locksmith.  I called the police.  I called the landlord.

The locksmith and the cops got there at about the same time, and let me tell you, that was a party right there.  The locksmith started work on replacing the lock that Corey had repeatedly forced open (and I had him replace all the other locks while he was there), and the cops went to talk to Corey.

Who denied everything.  Of course.

The cops came to talk to ME, and I gave them the whole story, and copies of the phone bill, and said that I wanted them press as many charges as possible.  The cops didn't even bother to dust for prints, which is typical of the cops in this town, who don't actually solve CRIMES so much as they sit around and discuss the chances of their favorite team making it to the playoffs, but they did say that charges would be filed.  They were also happy to share stories of Corey's past run-ins with the law, which, Jesus Christ, wasn't the damn landlord SCREENING these tenants?  (Answer:  No.)

And then the locksmith, who was still there, and the cops started discussing various break-and-enters they had been involved with, and hoo boy was THAT interesting.  And disgusting.  Turns out that, back in those pre-internet days, at least, it was NOT UNCOMMON for people to go into other people's homes to call phone sex lines.  And do OTHER STUFF while they were in the homes, which, EWWWWW, when the locksmith got to the part where he was advising me to throw out any open containers of MILK in the FRIDGE, that was when I think I stuck my fingers in my ears and started singing LA LA LAAAAAA because I would rather live in a world where I don't know that stuff, thankyouverymuch.

In the end, the locks got changed, Corey got kicked out of the building (although it took a few days for the landlord to get the proper paperwork in order to forcibly evict him) and charged with a couple of crimes (although I can't remember what, exactly - it was a long time ago), Corey threatened to KILL ME to my FACE before he moved out, to which I had some RATHER HARSH WORDS (oh you do not want to THREATEN me you F*CKWAD I WILL BURY YOU), his FRIENDS came to ask me to drop the charges because Corey was "going through a hard time" and I LAUGHED in their FACES, and it was all very entertaining.

And scary.

Yeah, it was pretty scary, too.

But that was a long time ago!  And now I live in a house!  With good locks!  Which I had changed right before I moved in because WHO KNOWS who has keys to ANY given lock (Let that be a lesson to all my kind readers!) and the only locks I trust now are the ones I see the locksmith install. (There actually wasn't anything faulty, per se, with the lock on the hallway door; it was just flimsy and was easily popped off the doorframe.) And while my neighbors here are CRAZY, some of them, at least they aren't breaking in to my place to use my phone.  BECAUSE I HAVE MOTHER-F*CKING DEADBOLTS YOU'RE DAMN STRAIGHT.  Ha.


God bless good locks and God damn sh*tty neighbors.

The End.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Apartment Files: The Naked Neighbor, Part II

Okay!  So!  I was telling you about my neighbor, who I found sitting on the back porch naked one night.

Weeks after that, I got a phone bill that was HUUUUUUUGE.  And it had all these calls on it to a 900 number.  I was mystified, because I never call 900 numbers.  Curious, I dialed the number, and

it was a phone sex line.


I looked at the times of the calls, and it was all times when I was at work.

and then I remembered the lock on the hall door.

There was a door, at the end of my hallway, which opened into the building's mechanical room.  The apartment next to mine also had a door that opened into that room.  A while back, I had noticed that the hardware surrounding the lock on the door in my hallway was loose.  Almost as if someone had removed it, and then replaced it in a hurry.

You know where this is going, RIGHT?


COREY had BROKEN INTO MY APARTMENT through the mechanical room while I was at work and used MY PHONE to call PHONE SEX LINES.  REPEATEDLY.


The first thing I did was call a locksmith.  Then I called the police.  Then I called the landlord.

and THEN ...

Okay, guys, you'll just have to wait to hear what happened next, because this thing is WAY too long already, again.  Stay tuned ...

Monday, December 28, 2015

The Apartment Files: The Naked Neighbor

I'm not sure how many tales I've told here about the various weird neighbors I had back when I lived in an apartment building.  I know I talked about the old dude downstairs who cranked his TV volume; he, and the guy who moved into that apartment after the old dude died, were the main impetus for me buying a house and GETTING THE HELL OUT OF APARTMENT LIVING.

But I don't know if I ever told you guys about Corey.

Corey was a young dude who moved into the apartment next to mine.  After he moved in, a couple of people warned me about him; they said he'd been in trouble with the law, had mistreated a girlfriend, etc. (hey, it's a small town; everybody knows everybody), but I hadn't had any trouble with him in our limited interactions, which mainly involved crossing paths in the parking lot or on the back porch.

Well, there was that one night, where Rocky had brought in a live baby bunny through the bathroom window and thoughtfully deposited on me in the middle of the night while I slept.  I woke up with a start, the bunny started screaming and went flying through the house with Rocky hot on its heels, and I ended up having to shut Rocky in the bathroom so I could scoop up the bunny and run it out into the backyard to set it loose.  All I had on was a t-shirt and sleep shorts, so I was pretty embarrassed when I headed back up the stairs to my apartment and saw my neighbor sitting on the shared back porch, but then I realized that he was sitting there NAKED and then I wasn't embarrassed for myself any more, just kind of weirded out, but that was the only real incident I had with the dude, until weeks later when I got a phone bill.  A really BIG phone bill.

And now this is waaaaay too long, so tune in next time for Part II of The Naked Neighbor.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas from the cats!

Cats past and present ...

... Would like to wish you a Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Exciting! Blogger! News!

You guys!  The reader who comments here as Domestic Kate, and has a blog named Simply Kate,  had her baby!  And he's adorable!  Go see the pics!

Congratulations, Kate!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Recently Read

1.  As Cool as I Am by Pete Fromm - Novel about a girl struggling with adolescence and her mother's struggle with aging.  Meh.  Didn't finish.

2.  Last Bus to Wisdom by Ivan Doig - Novel about a boy and an old man on a Greyhound bus trip in the 1950s.  Good.

3.  Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good by Kathleen Flinn - Described on the flyleaf as "a family history with recipes", this memoir of growing up in the fifties was very good.

4.  Arctic Homestead by Norma Cobb and Charles W. Sasser - Memoir about a woman who homesteaded in Alaska with her husband and five young children in the seventies.  I love, love, LOVE reading about people roughing it in Alaska, maybe because it is the last thing in the world I would ever want to do myself, and unlike a lot of people who embark on such an endeavor after years of planning, Ms. Cobb and her family, broke and underemployed in their lives before Alaska, basically half-assed the project and learned as they went.  Very interesting.

5.  $2.00 a Day:  Living on Almost Nothing in America  by Kathryn Edin and H. Luke Shaefer.  An absorbing look at several families trying to get by on very little.  Very interesting.  America's a great place to live, unless you're really poor, and then it sucks worse than a lot of other countries with better social safety nets.

6.  All We Had by Annie Weatherwax - Novel about a teen who gets moved around a lot by her shiftless mom.  Okay, but not memorable.

7.  The Final Frontiersman by James Campbell - Nonfiction account of Heimo Korth, who is raising a family in a mostly uninhabited area of Alaska.  He was featured on the show "The Last Alaskans".  As mentioned above, I LOVE books about people living in Alaska, and this one was very good.

8.  Like Family:  Growing Up in Other People's Houses by Paula McLain - Memoir from a woman who grew up in the foster system with her sisters.  Good.

So!  That's what I've been reading lately.  How about you?

Friday, December 18, 2015

Let's hear your most hilarious/horrific wedding stories

So, I got talking on Facebook the other day about how I don't like the Cake Boss, and that led to a discussion about wedding cakes, and I remembered when I was planning my own wedding, back in the Dark Ages.

I had gone to the best bakery in town to look at cakes.  When the staff learned that I was getting married, they took me into a super-posh room with music playing, beautiful furnishings, art on the walls, the whole nine yards.  The woman in charge of wedding cakes started discussing tier layouts, flavor combos, etc., etc., until I explained that I was really just looking for a sheet cake.

*insert sound of needle being screeched across a record here*

I got hustled out of that room faster than you can believe and was given an old binder of sheet-cake pictures and a folding chair to sit in while looking through the binder.


I still remember that.  Wagner's Bakery.  I don't think they're around anymore.

So yeah, that's my funny wedding story.  What's yours?

Thursday, December 17, 2015

In the local paper

Local guy, who I'm pretty sure last got laid ... never.

Yes, evidently that's supposed to be a Star Wars costume.  According to the story, he has several.

How's that workin' out for ya, dude?

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

At least I'm not the only one who's wondering

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about the mass killing in my little town, which it seemed everyone had forgotten about.

Turns out, I'm not the only one.  Check it out.


Monday, December 14, 2015


The weather forecast was calling for temps in the SIXTIES yesterday.  I had SO MUCH that had to get done yesterday, but I was bound and DETERMINED to get outside.

So I got up before the sun, ran errands (Pro tip:  Walmart is deserted at seven a.m.) and decorated the tree and wrapped packages like a MANIAC, and by one-thirty, I was out in the woods.

No ice on the creek at all:

Not sure if birds had been going after bugs, or if the bucks had been leaving their marks on this dead  tree:

Look!  How cute!  Out in the middle of the forest:

I had to stop and visit the old chimney:

Shirtsleeves?  Did I mention I was hiking in shirtsleeves?  Yippee!  But pretty soon the sun was lowering and it was time to head for home.

Dear Weather:  I love you.  Never change, okay?  Smooches!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Home strange home, indeed

Some of you may remember that I used to do Freaky Friday posts, when every Friday I'd highlight some weird-ass thing that I had around my house.  I stopped doing them a while back; not because I'd run out of weird stuff, but I just kept forgetting to take more pics. 

I was in the Foster Room with the kittens this morning, flipping through the TV channels, when I came across a show on HGTV called "Home Strange Home".




Wednesday, December 09, 2015


Okay, first and most important, many thanks to Laura, who sent a fine donation for the kitties of Little Mews!

Laura, your gift is very much appreciated.  I'm sorry I'm not better at sign-making. :)

Now, some random:

I finally, FINALLY got around to canceling my Netflix account the other day.  I was on the DVD plan, and seeing as how the last time I sat down and watched an entire movie was ... a long, looooong time ago, it was time to pull the plug.  Phew.  (and no, I'm not saying that I'm *better* than anyone else by not watching movies.  Lord knows I watch enough crap TV.  I just do not have the time OR the attention span to sit still for two hours these days. *sigh*)

and OH MY GOD CRAP TV YOU GUYS!  AMAZING RACE!  LAST WEEK!  I thought the Green Team was finally gonna bite it, and I was CHEERING for that other girl to GET THAT DAMN FISH DAMN YOU! GOOOOOOOO!  And then Green Team guy started to CRY, and I was kind of GLAD because he's sort of jerk-ish, but then I felt BAD for feeling GLAD because he really IS a student of the game, and ... yeah, can you tell I get way too invested in this stuff?

I managed to put the outside lights up without incident over the weekend.  Yay! A friend and I have decided to become "peril pals" on facebook; if one of us is about to do something potentially life-threatening (which, for me, includes anything at all involving a ladder, ha), we PM the other before we start and once we finish.  If one of us gets the FIRST message and not the SECOND, well, it's time sound the alarm.  Hopefully it'll never be necessary.

I actually almost said screw it with the lights this year and bought one of those star-shooter things.  But I wasn't sure how bright the lights from that would actually be, and I didn't want to cough up forty bucks for something I wasn't happy with.  The main problem with my regular lights, which I lay along the garden edging out front, is that if we get a year with a lot of snow (LIKE LAST YEAR I'M LOOKING AT YOU, YOU MISERABLE, ENDLESS WINTER), I'm out there digging the lights out a few times a week and it's a pain in the butt.  So I dunno; maybe next year I'll try the star-shooter.  Does anybody you know have one?  Do they like it?

I never realized how many people around here are actually from Jersey until I started doing the events at the Tractor Supply nearest to the rescue.  I swear, every other person is a Jersey transplant.  Most of them came up here after they retired.  When *I* retire, I ain't sticking around here, I'll tell you what.  I'm heading SOUTH.

I was pawing through a bathroom cabinet this morning, looking for ... something, I forget what, and I found SEVERAL make-up items that I never use.  Some old hair gel, a half-full tube of foundation that I didn't like, and some old eye make-up.  And I actually had a hard time throwing it out! I have to watch myself, there ... evidently the hoarding instinct is strong in me.  Anybody else have a hard time chucking stuff that they *might* use some day?

I've discovered a great website for cheap me:  You just type in your address, and it gives you the gas prices at nearby stations.  The stations around here can be as much as twelve cents a gallon apart, so it's nice to know who's got the cheap stuff.

So that's it!  My random for today. Got any random yourself?

Monday, December 07, 2015

Georgia update!

You may remember Georgia, one of my most recent foster campers.  I posted about her here.  She was my little special-needs kitten; due to suspected neurological deficits, she pranced when she walked, and she had balance issues.  But she was a little sweetie and cute as a button, and when a local college professor wanted to adopt her and one of the other rescue cats at one of our events, I was very happy.  I spent quite some time with the adopter, making sure she knew all about Georgia's issues, and she was eager to help Georgia reach her full potential, whatever that may be.

And I'm fairly certain that Georgia was relieved to leave Foster Camp. She never really was a fan of hats.

We always ask that adopters send us updates on how their new pets are doing, but they rarely do.  I understand; people get busy, and the world moves on.  But it IS difficult, sometimes, to send all these cats out into the great wide beyond and never know how they're making out.

So needless to say, I was very happy when Georgia's new family sent pics.

 Here she is, with one of her new playmates:

Gee, I dunno, she looks kind of stressed.  NOT:

Here is Henrietta, the other rescue cat who was adopted with Georgia, and she looks similarly stressed in her new digs:

Happy endings. I love 'em.

Friday, December 04, 2015

... and more thanks are in order! - Now with updates!

Thank you, Ginny (James P.) for your donation to Little Mews!

The UPS man may hate you (that's a 38 pound box of litter, there) but the Little Mews kittens (and I) are thankful for your donation!

(and yes, I picked THAT pic because it had the back end of a foster kitten in it, which seemed, er, appropriate.)

I'll be going to the rescue tomorrow, and I know they'll be glad to see your present!

Thank you for helping make the holidays merry for the cats and kittens!

Updated to add:  Ginny, Package #2 arrived today!  THANK YOU!  Medications always put a strain on a rescue's budget because they are so expensive, so thank you for your help!

Okay, I'll admit it, I just don't get it

So! Another day, another mass shooting.  Yaaaaawn.

It's not going to stop until guns (and ammunition) are more tightly regulated, but nobody wants to hear my opinion. 

What I'm wondering about is, back in 2009, we had our very own mass shooting, right here in my little town.  You can read about it here:

And for approximately half a day, there was pretty intense news coverage.  After a day or two, a brief mention every once in a while.  After that? Zip.

Cut to this week, when a gunman opened fire at an office party in San Bernadino.

Non-stop coverage.  There has been nothing BUT coverage of this incident on the news.  All San Bernadino, all the time.  All week long.

And I can't help but wonder, why?  Is it because the shooter this week is (presumably) Muslim, and "our" shooter was Vietnamese?  Is it because it happened in OMG California, where the rich people live, and not LOL Upstate New York, which is poverty-riddled?  Is it because the victims were middle-class, professional people, and not poor immigrants taking ESL classes?

I don't know.  But I wonder.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Say my name, say my name

Cats I have fostered:

Pammie and Hannah
Evil Mama, The Runt, Little Girl, Fluffy and Tuffy (I ended up adopting The Runt and Little Girl)
Samson, Delilah and Dumplin
Romeo and Mouse
Betty Sue
Itty Bitty
Tinks (I ended up adopting Tinks - still got 'im!)
Jacob, Rachael, Zilpah, Bilpah and Leah
Panko, Ponza, Chobani, Kikko and Princess Kamiko
Leo and Lilly
Moses, Aaron and Hobo
Virginia, Vinnie and Violet
Miley and Hannah
Buster, Bianca, Sparky, Boots, Sweetie and Smoky
Callie and Bindi
Puff, BearyCat and 12 kittens
Honey, Big Red, Little Red, Raffles and Ruffian
Apple Pie, Chloe, Watson and Mikelle (Mikey)
Henri, Georgia, Auguste (Gus) and Taffy
Sam Winchester, Dean Winchester, Rowena, Perseus and Lyra

Holy Macaroni, that's a lotta cats!

Monday, November 30, 2015

So, this makes two days in a row that I've cried

Yesterday, I read something on Facebook that made me laugh until I cried.  Yes, I did.

And today?  Today, I got home from work, checked the mailbox, opened a card, and cried again.  From happiness this time.  And all I can say is,

Okay, okay, so it's kind of hard to get squirmy kittens to pose.  :)

Kris, your insanely generous gift is going to make a huge difference to the rescue.  It will be much, much easier to help the cats I posted about the other day, all thanks to you.  You have made the holidays bright indeed for so many cats!  And you can rest assured that every penny will go directly to help the cats who cannot help themselves.

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!  You are truly a special person, and you've made the world a better place for all of us today.

Things I learned this weekend.

Okay, first off, did you know that Jewel the singer is related to the Kilcher family featured on the TV show "Alaska:  The Last Frontier"?  I did not know this until this past weekend, and it kind of  blows my mind a little.  Mainly because the TV show Kilchers seem so ... earthy, and Jewel does not.  Evidently, there is one family in Alaska, and their last name is Kilcher.

Now.  Other stuff I learned.

Cattails are soft.  Like, really, REALLY soft.  Holding a puffed-out cattail is like holding a big wad of cotton.

Ice stays on the beaver swamp even after the temps have been in the fifties for a couple of days:

X marks the spot!  The spot where ... something happens, or happened, or will happen, at some point.

When the opportunity arises to swing on swings, you've got to take it.  Okay, I already KNEW that one, but still.:

When left to themselves, picnic tables will do an interpretive dance:

Patience is a virtue.  Waaaay back in August, when I was at the State Fair, I bought an awesome wooden frog table.  I tucked it away, to be a birthday gift to myself, and since yesterday was the big day - TA-DA!

I love that frog.  Look at the side-eye on that dude!  He's giving us all a giant EFF YOU.

And finally, the last thing I learned this weekend:  When you find a giant metal mermaid at an insanely great price, you must buy it.  It's the law.  I just learned that this weekend.  And that is why I'll be spending NEXT weekend trying to find a place in the house for this beauty.

My weekend.  I learned so much!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Cats take the Cuke Challenge!

Several people sent me links recently to videos of cats being scared by cucumbers.  Just google "cats scared by cucumbers" - evidently it's a thing.

Hmmm, I thought.  I wonder why cats are scared of cucumbers?  And is it ALL cats, or just SOME cats?

Enquiring minds wanted to know.

We'll start with the permacats.  The deal is, you're supposed to place cucumbers behind cats when they are otherwise distracted, and when they turn around and see the cuke, they lose their sh*t.

Cukes placed:

They turn around, and .... nope.  Just a sniff.

Soda sniffed the cukes, and Pony sniffed Soda's butt. *sigh*

Okay, let's try the fosters!  Cucumbers placed:

The kittens turn around, and ... nada.

I currently have ... let's see ... seven cats in the house, and not one reacted to the Cucumber Challenge.  Anybody else out there try it?

Monday, November 23, 2015

I'll have what they're having

(images courtesy Passion Fruit @thinkbri on Twitter)

I dunno ...

... I'm pretty sure the last time I was that blissed-out was back in the seventies.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

This is why we do it baybee

I am well aware that, because I do animal rescue work, I am looked on with disdain by a certain percentage of the population.  A "crazy cat lady", as it were, who simply doesn't have enough to fill up her time, and has some weird compulsion to collect as many cats as possible and then simper over them endlessly.  Someone with a screw loose.

Yeah, no.  I do rescue because there are cats out there who are starving.

Who are living in horrible conditions and are helpless.  

Yes, there are people living in poverty who manage to take beautiful care of their animals.  Unfortunately, those people are in the minority.  And we get calls ALL THE TIME for when a situation is out of control; when a relative or authority finally throws up their hands and calls the shelter.

All of these photos are from a home we took cats from this week.  Three pregnant females, and seven kittens of varying ages.

They won't all make it.  Because they were indoor/outdoor cats with no vaccination history, the odds of some of them testing positive for Feline Leukemia or FIV are high.  FIV is survivable; Feline Leuk is a death sentence.  Because the pregnant cats were severely underfed (all of the cats had been visiting area dumpsters desperately trying to supplement their meager diets), they will most likely bear small litters, and not all of the kittens will survive.  If we get a fifty percent survival rate from these cats, that will be considered a sound success.

But we keep telling ourselves the Starfish Story, and we keep plugging on.  Because if we don't do it, who will?  We get zero government funding.  All of our funding comes from individuals; from people who respond to our Facebook and GoFundMe requests; who stop by the shelter or at one of our events and put some change in the donation jar. 

Yeah, we're rolling in dough, all right. NOT.  All of us donate out of our own pockets, deeply, to help the animals who cannot help themselves.

And this, these pictures, this is why I do what I do.  I can't see something like that and not help.  I. just. can't.

Monday, November 16, 2015

The weekend

I took a break from rescue stuff this weekend in a valiant attempt to get caught up on household crap.  But I dicked around in Ithaca all day Saturday, accomplishing exactly ZERO, so Sunday it was time to get to work.  I raked leaves and mowed the lawn and scrubbed the tub and put the gardens to bed and planted a bunch of bulbs.  I'm still not caught UP, but I'm CLOSER, and I even squeezed in a walk yesterday afternoon.

Georgia is reluctantly coming around to the idea that Dean Winchester maybe isn't the WORST kitty ever:

And Tinks elongates in the sunshine:

The leaves are gone off the trees now:

A few crabapples are still holding on:

The tall grasses haven't been weighed down by snow yet:

Somebody's been marking trees:

Look!  Can you spot the cheeepmonk?

There he is!