Sunday, April 29, 2012

Saggy butt

Yesterday our rescue group had our first-ever yard sale, held at the home of a volunteer.

It was twenty-three degrees out when I woke up at six. The sale was advertised as being from 10 am to 2 pm, but at 8 I got a call from the homeowner, saying that shoppers were already showing up and could I please hurry over?

I think it was 40 degrees out by 10. That girl scout sash I bought and wore all day? Strictly for warmth. Ah yeah. I also came home with a boy scout uniform shirt, complete with merit badges (it even FITS, should I ever decide to wear it) (and I probably will); a funky necklace; and some cat stuff. Because God knows I don't have enough cat stuff. *cough*

A lot of people donated items to our sale, which means that sometimes we were trying to sell things when we had no idea what they were. The puzzler that took the longest to solve? What finally proved to be an old-style bonnet-type hair dryer, sans bonnet or air hose. All we had was the base. Surprisingly, no one bought it.

We had nothing priced at over twenty bucks, and we still managed to raise almost four! hundred! bucks! One fifty-cent vase and another ten-cent bag of Legos at a time.

One of these things is not like the other:

That dude on the right was about fourteen. At one point he had those jeans so low I have NO IDEA what was holding them up, other than good intentions.

Oh, and there was a young woman there who was quite extensively arrayed with graphic vampire tattoos. I ... really don't know what to say about that, except I hope vampires are still in vogue fifty years from now, for the sake of her grandkids. Then again, I know some ancient dudes with old, old battleship tattoos from WWII, so there ya go.

So! Garage sale. Big hit! I'm exhausted.

Friday, April 27, 2012


Who is that chick on NPR who reports from Dakar, or, as she pronounces it, “DAKAR!!”? It drives me crazy every time she does that. It’s like, ease up, there. Don’t give yourself a stroke.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I really don’t care to be called “Hon” more than once in a conversation. Diner waitresses have ruined it for me.

Oh, and I actually like being called “Ma’am”. “Ma’am” conveys acknowledgment that I’m a semi-competent human being. “Hon” conveys that the person using it thinks I’m a blithering idiot.

Tinks has a new trick: He burrows under the bedcovers and tunnels around like a mole, so that Pony and Soda can pounce on him. It’s hysterical. A little less so at 4 a.m., which seems to be when all cats’ inner alarm clocks go off for the day.

There is not much that pleases me more than getting a call from the library telling me that a book I’ve put on hold has come in. I’m a giant dork.

One thing that DOES please me more than a call from the library? When the mower starts on the first try. Nothing like lowered expectations.

I cooked up some burgers last week and my house stank like grease for DAYS. How is it that some food smells (burgers, bacon, POPCORN) have the ability to linger on for so long, while other food smells (chicken, spaghetti) vacate the premises in a timely manner?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Seen in the sticks

Hmmn ... what's that on that rock?

"Kari S will you go to prom with me?"

I wonder if she said yes.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Administrative Professionals' Day

Yeah, I left work early. Slacker.

Hey, I had a good reason - Tinks' adoption didn't take, and I had to drive to Smalltown to pick him up.


Welcome back, Tink-a-dink. And don't worry - We'll find you a home.

Ha - Did anybody catch that I originally spelled "Administrative" wrong? Secretary of the Year, right here. folks.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Probably gonna get in a shit ton of trouble for this, but ...

… As some of you may know, I loathe lawn-mowing. It is easily my least-favorite activity. Between the christless lawn mower that refuses to start half the time, and that time last summer when I ran over a nest of yellowjackets while mowing … well, mowing and I are not friends.

And my neighbors are all, like, “Why don’t you use Andy? Andy mows everybody’s lawn! He’s great! And he only charges ten bucks a yard!”

Here is my problem with Andy. And here’s where I’m gonna get into trouble.

Andy is developmentally disabled. Now, that’s NOT my problem with him. My problem lies with letting a developmentally disabled man operate power equipment on my property. It just … doesn’t seem like a good idea, from a liability standpoint.

And also? I am old enough to remember when Andy was a kid. A kid with a predilection for matches and an ugly little arson habit. He actually burned down two houses as a child.

So giving him access to my garage and a can of gas doesn’t seem like such a hot idea.

I guess I’m gonna have to keep mowing my own lawn, dammit. Because it sure beats an injury lawsuit or a house of ashes.

Monday, April 23, 2012

A public service announcement about the new Blogger format

Yeah, I don't like it. At all. I mean, I might like it at some point; it may be super-duper fantastic; but I simply do not have the time right now to figure it out.

So. When you sign in to your blog, the dashboard that pops up should have a cog-shape, somewhere on the upper-right area of the screen.

Click on that cog, and it will drop down several options, one of which is "Use the old Blogger format." (Or something like that - I don't remember the exact wording.)

Click that option, and you're back to the old Blogger.

You're welcome!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Bye-bye, baby

Tinks went to his new home today, a great big house with a young cat to play with and an older cat to ignore him.

Have a good time, sweetie!  We'll miss you!

Saturday, April 21, 2012


I was looking through some pictures I took of the cats the other day, when I noticed this one of Ponyboy:

It looked really, really familiar to me, so I started going through my photo archives, and found this one of The Runt, taken in 2008:


The Runt passed away a year ago today.  Seven months after that, Little Girl was gone.

I volunteered at an adoption event today, and tomorrow I will be accompanying Tinks, my current foster cat, to a home visit - he may be finding his new home tomorrow.  And of course, I have my new guys, Pony and Soda. 

But tonight it all comes down to The Runt and Little Girl - this time last year they were both here, and now they're both gone, and oh, that is hard.

Give your pets a hug tonight.  Tell  'em it's from me.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Wait … He’s got WHAT?!

Ponyboy and Sodapop had to go to the vet for their second set of vaccinations a couple of weeks ago. And I’ll tell you what, the first problem was even FINDING a local vet who could see them …

They had their first set of vaccinations when they were still in rescue care in the beginning of March. As in, first EVER, even though neither one of them is a kitten, because crazy trailer hoarder lady could not afford to FEED her many, many cats, much less do anything expensive like get them vaccinated. And because that had been their first-ever set of vaccinations, they needed another, booster set, three to four weeks after the first set.

So! A couple of weeks after the first set, which was given to them by the rescue group’s vet out in East Jesus, and once I had adopted them, I called my own local vet, to set them up for the second set of shots. And the earliest my vet could see them was … the end of April.

And this is one of the many, many reasons I have begun to sour on people in the veterinary profession. Even though I have been going to this vet for several years, I was told that Ponyboy and Sodapop would be new cats there, and would have to have intake exams, and, well, they'd have to find a double vacant opening blahblahblahblah end of April.

So I called around to different vet offices. End of April. Early May. MID-May. Keep in mind, they needed their shots by the FIRST week in April.

I finally found a walk-in clinic who could see them, left work early one day, and took them in. Problem solved. Vaccinations accomplished. But then I asked the vet to take a look at Ponyboy’s right eye, which has been runny since he first entered the rescue system in January. Many different ointments and drops had been tried by his foster mom, and his eye was still runny.

The vet's verdict?

“He’s got herpes.”


“Feline herpes! It results in conjunctivitis, and also could be causing the occasional wheezing you mentioned.”

I took him tonight to another vet for a second opinion, because ... herpes? Really?

And Vet #2 confirmed the diagnosis. Conjunctivitis due to feline herpes.

I can’t believe it. I’ve got a trailer park herpes cat.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I'm a little perplexed by bleu cheese

So, some lame Friendly's commercial came on the other night, and they were sprinkling what I assume were bleu cheese crumbles on a burger, and I was all, like, ewwwwwww.

Because, really? Mold? You want me to eat mold and like it?

My mold prejudice actually began on the first day of seventh grade. With my stomach full of butterflies for the start of a new school year, I sat down that morning to toast that my mom had made me for breakfast. I took a bite, and ... mold. The toast had been made with moldy bread.


I pushed away from the kitchen table.

"What's wrong, honey?," she asked.

And at that point I remember going into a whole angsty seventh-grade screed about IT'S THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL and MOLDY BREAD and THIS IS HARD ENOUGH WITHOUT CRAPPY MOLDY TOAST and WHY DO YOU HAVE TO RUIN MY LIFE and

yeah, I'm not proud of myself. What a little sh*t. I'm surprised my mother didn't kill me as a kid. I would have. And that's EXACTLY why I never had kids; I remember what *I* was like as a kid, and it wasn't always pretty. Who wants to go through that again?

But don't ask me to eat anything freakin' moldy, including blue cheese. It takes me right back to seventh grade, and I'd rather not go there, thankyouverymuch.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I ... I can't seem to help myself ...

Yet another pair of five-dollar thrift store shoes.

I'm not a big fan of a wedge heel or a t-strap, but somehow the two-tone wing-tip makes it all work.

Maaaaan, I shoulda named this damn blog "Cats and Shoes".


Maybe I should go rob a bank or start a horrifically inappropriate relationship or something, just to liven things up around here. Any ideas?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Breaking News!

The spring peepers are peeping away tonight.

I was actually a little worried that I wouldn't hear them at all this year, as we have been short of rain this spring (which I have a hard time feeling bad about after last fall's flooding). I've been able to mow the back-backyard already, which usually doesn't happen until sometime in May or June when the spring rains stop. And the vernal pools on my property and the adjacent park land have virtually dried up; I don't recall the bog land ever being this dry this time of year.

But! The peepers are peeping. They found a way. Spring is here.

The Great Escape

Because my cats will someday be indoor-outdoor cats (if they so desire), tonight I took Pony outside on a collar and leash for the first time.

And it took him about .02 seconds, chasing after a butterfly, to slip the collar.


He took off, of course, with me behind him. But I have to admit, he acquitted himself admirably. First, he circled the outside of the house, just far enough ahead of me so I couldn't catch him. I was fast-walking behind him, which I am sure was amusing to the neighbors. He paused at the front and back doors, as if to say, "This is how I get back in, right, should I CHOOSE to get back in ..." and kept on going. Directly into the brush on the land adjacent to mine. Not only brush; PRICKER BUSH brush. And there he was, 6 feet away, underneath the pricker bush.

I called to him. I walked away and came back. I went and got a dish of food and showed it to him. And he looked at me as if to say, "Are you INSANE, woman? I'm FREE! FREEEEEEEE! HAHAHAHAHA!!"

Well, since it was his first time outside, I didn't want him to be out too long, so ... I went in after him. Into the pricker bush. And do you know what that cat did as I got close? He hissed at me.

I had never heard that cat hiss before, EVER, but when he sensed his beloved freedom was about to be compromised? Oh, I was the ENEMY. "F*ck you, bitch! Hisssssssssss."

But. I got close enough to scruff him, and got him back in the house, and I'll be ready to take one of the cats outside again in approximately ...

... three years or so. Man.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Orphaned Babies

This is one of two litters who came into the rescue group in the past week. The other litter has a mom; this one doesn't and is being bottle-fed (every two hours!) by the FC. There is good news: Another local rescue group has a lactating cat whose ten-week-old babies have been adopted; she may be brought in as a kind of wet nurse for these guys.

Kitten season has begun.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Geez, I almost forgot

Happy Friday the Thirteenth from Basement Cat.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Quote of the day

"I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours." (Stephen F. Roberts)

Yeah, I've probably posted this before. It just makes sense to me.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Garbage, garbage everywhere

For two nights in a row, something got into my outside trash can and strewed garbage all over the backyard, so I had to go buy a locking trash can. I'm assuming it was a racoon, because I really don't care to consider the alternatives. (BEAR) (SHUT UP IT'S NOT A BEAR LA LA LA LA)

Then, Sodapop figured out how to get into the cabinet where the kitchen garbage can is stored and scattered kitchen garbage all over. To add insult to injury, he also taught Tinks the same trick.

Soda has also learned the fine art of rolling the toilet paper off the roll, an entire roll at a time, so now I have to store the TP in the cabinet next to the toilet.

Sh*t, if I wanted to have to kid-proof my house, I would have had kids.

Oh! And Soda has fallen in love with my hair dryer. As soon as he hears it in the morning, he comes tearing into the bathroom to watch me dry my hair. I don't have the heart to turn it on him and destroy his fantasy love affair. I'm guessing the attraction is because they're both black. I hope that doesn't make me a racist. Ha. That's supposed to be funny. KIDDING, people, I am KIDDING. If Tinks was suddenly attracted to, I don't know, a pillow, I'd think that was funny, too. OKAY?o\8aa - those characters brought to you courtesy of Soda, who just walked across the keyboard. Thanks, Soda.

And Soda also likes to eat Vaseline. I use it to take off my eye makeup, and if I leave it on the counter, he's all nomnomnom with his face shoved into the vaseline jar.

Okay, I've gotta hear YOUR cats' weird habits now. Please tell me that Soda's not the only freak.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The thing about bullies

There’s been an awful lot in the news lately about bullies. There were bullies back when I was in school, *cough*-odd years ago, and evidently not much has changed since then. Teachers look the other way, kids get beat up on the playground, blah, blah, blah.

And sadly, bullies are not limited to the school years. One of my co-workers is a bully, and he’s in his mid-thirties.

And you know what the thing about bullies is? You’ve gotta nip that sh*t right in the bud.

While my co-worker is notorious for bullying other people, he’s never bullied me. At least, not successfully. Because I don’t play that crap.

As soon as he starts in, I shut him down. He's notorious for bossing co-workers around. So when he says, “Rocky, you have to do xyz -"

- I interrupt him.

“That’s for the boss to decide. I’ll have to check with him first.”

All said politely, in a nice tone of voice, because HIS voice immediately escalates. You can practically SEE his blood pressure rising. Bully powers activated!


- I interrupt him again.

“As soon as the boss is available, I’ll ask him if he wants me to do that.” And then I walk away.

It’s unpleasant, and I wish I could just kick the little jerk’s ass and be done with it, but it works. And of course, by the time the boss is available, I’ve “forgotten” to ask him about whatever Mr. Bully wanted me to do, and problem solved. Oooh, another hint: You NEVER want to get the boss involved. Bosses would rather slit their wrists than deal with this kind of petty bullcrap*, so just handle it yourself, or YOU’RE the one who comes out looking bad. And the bully himself will never go to the boss, because the bully KNOWS he's out of line. He's just trying to pull a fast one. On you.

And here’s another thing about bullies: You can’t let anything slide. Ever. You can’t let one single bullying comment go by without an “Oh no you didn’t!” and a rueful shake of the head, or else things start sliding down the bully slope and pretty soon you’re screwed.

Tiring, yes. But ultimately satisfying. Because once upon a time, back in elementary school, the bullies might have pushed me around, but now we're all grown-ups, and bully game over. Other employees have actually quit rather than deal with this dude, which is a complete and total over-reaction, because all you have to do is stand up and shut him down.

And remember you’re on the side of the angels. Ha.

*and so would teachers. Which is what is driving me CRAZY about this whole bully-as-media-story-of-the-day thing. All of the articles seem to focus on how students need to stand up for other students. You know who needs to stand up for the students? TEACHERS. Teachers IGNORE bullying behavior, which just makes it worse. And granted, a lot of bullying is going on online these days, so you know who needs to ride herd over that? PARENTS. I am sick unto DEATH of people saying that kids need to stand up for other kids. NO. ADULTS need to stand up for kids. CHRIST. That’s why we’re ADULTS, people.

Monday, April 09, 2012

"Boys? Boys! Time to make the bed!"

*sigh* Boys.

Gentlemen, start yer engines!

On Saturday, I mowed for the first time this year.

Oh, I didn't really have to, but the yard was starting to look shaggy, and a couple of the neighbors had already mowed, ending the annual neighborhood Mexican standoff over who's going to mow first, thus kicking off the official mowing season, so ... I mowed. As some of you may recall, mowing is my least-favorite part of home ownership, mainly because of my inability to find a mower that will actually start on a reliable basis. But on Saturday, it was time to mow, so I mowed.

I almost didn't.

A couple of days before, I charged the mower's electric start battery. On Saturday, I checked the oil and the gas and rolled it out of the garage and went to start it up. It turned over, coughed, spat out a cloud of smoke, and died.


I stood there, looking at the mower in disbelief. "You no-good, c*ck s*cking, m*therf*cking, son of a BITCH! I JUST BOUGHT YOU, less than a year ago! I spent over three hundred bucks on you, you piece of f*cking sh*t! I even sprang for an electric start! Last fall I put Sta-Bil in your tank and filled up the oil and I EVEN STORED YOU IN THE HEATED GARAGE SO YOU WOULDN'T GET COLD, you miserable f*cktard! And now, NOW, you're not going to START?! Oh, f*ck you, motherf*cker. GAME ON."

I gritted my teeth. I turned the key again. The mower turned over, coughed, and then, before it could die again, I juiced it. I hit the damn gas and cranked it until that son of a b*tch was running like a jet engine. I let fly a few more choice words.

And then I mowed the goddam lawn. Son of a b*tch. Welcome to lawn-mowing season.

Friday, April 06, 2012

The Dollar Store really outdid itself this time.

The Dollar Store kicked out the jams for Easter. Wanna guarantee nightmares? Stick some of these in your kid's basket:

What's that, little Tommy? The stickers are scaring you?

Don't be silly, Tommy.

Happy Easter, and enjoy your stickers!

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Marie Callendar? Really, guys?

Yeah, I'm as guilty of eating this crap as the next person. But somehow I thought the cats would be more discriminating.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Isn't he lovely


Tink, that is. He's still a pretty elusive guy. Here's his "no photos, please" pose:

I tried to get a good shot of his tail, which was evidently grafted on from another cat:

And look at the back of his legs! It looks like he sat in black paint.

"I don't always patronize cat condos, but when I do, it's this one":

How blue are his eyes? This blue:

Oh, he's a ladykiller, all right. (And of course, as a foster, he is available for adoption. Just in case, you know, anybody's interested. *cough*)

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Three Point Oh

Three years ago today, I quit smoking. I’ve never cheated once; I never wanted to. One day I was a smoker (for almost thirty years) and the next day I wasn’t. I still can't believe I did it. Just. Like. That.

Shall we run the numbers, just for fun?

Number of cigarettes I would have smoked between April 3, 2009 and today, had I not stopped smoking on that date: 32,850.

Amount of money saved: $5,847.30. (As in last year's post, a clarification: I smoked cheap cigs I bought on line. I used a dollar figure of $3.56 a pack, since that's what my smokes cost at the time I quit. If I had been buying Marlboros at the corner Seven-Eleven, at today's price of eight bucks a pack (minimum), that number would have been - wait for it - $13,140.00.)

Am I glad I quit? Oh, you betcha. I’m just sorry I didn't do it sooner.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Four A.M.:

Tink, in the hallway: “Meow? Meow? Meowwwwwww? Chirp chirp chirp chirp meowwwwwww?”

Soda, on the bed: “grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr”

Me: “Soda! Be nice!”


Two minutes later:

Tink, now up on the bed with Soda, Pony and I: “Meow? Meowwwwwwww? Chirp chirp chirp meowwwwwwww?”

Soda: “grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr”

Me: “SODA! Stop it!” *poke*


Five minutes after that:


thud thud thud thud thud thud thud thud thud thud thud

Soda and Tink are now chasing each other through the house.

Ponyboy, aka Switzerland: “yawwwwwwwwn”

Tink comes flying back onto the bed, followed by Soda.

“Meow? Meow?”


Yeah, I’m a little tired today.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

(sing-song voice) Hon-ey! We have COM-pany!

Meet Tink. I took a photo of him still in his carrier, because I was told that he would run and hide as soon as I let him out, and that's exACTly what happened. He is one shy, shy cat.

Tink is a foster cat. He is less than a year old, and is part Maine Coon and part Siamese with brilliant blue eyes and a fluffy tail. He was not doing well in his other foster home, and the FC thought it might be because there were no cats his age to interact with there, so when I was asked if I would give him a try, I said sure!

Sodapop actually GROWLED at him at first, which astonished me, but as Tink immediately went to ground in the spare room closet, I think my two have now forgotten that he's here. I'll be working with him to bring him out of his shell, and we'll see what happens. I've been told that he likes other cats better than he likes people, so hopefully he'll be friends with my two. If he ever comes out of hiding, that is.

Welcome, Tink!