Friday, July 31, 2015

The Curious Case of the Cat Curled in the Colander in the Cupboard

About a week ago, I noticed that Sodapop, one of my permacats, was doing an awful lot of scratching.

Here is Soda:

Cute little bugger, ain't he?

ANYway, Soda was all itchy and scratchy and nervous-acting, and I figured that maybe he had developed a flea allergy.  I treat all the permacats with Frontline because it's effective against ticks, but I knew it didn't work as well against fleas, so when I noticed that Soda was scratching, I treated him with Advantage.

and voila!  The scratching stopped.

and then Soda started hiding.

First it was in the hall closet,  and now it's a cupboard in the kitchen.  He's made himself a little nest in there (in a big colander, which would be funny if it wasn't so mystifying), and he stays in the cupboard all. the. time.

He comes out long enough to stretch, eat, use the litterbox, and be petted, and then he goes right back in.

At first I thought something outside had scared him, and he was scared to go outside again.

But not only won't he go outside, he won't even leave the kitchen.  Plus, I have a game cam set up out back to watch the wildlife, and the only things that have been out there lately have been my three cats, and the regular random deer/squirrels/woodchucks/etc.  There's not, like, a rampaging bear out there or something.

Then I thought, well, maybe one of the other permacats beat up on him in the house, and now he's scared of the other cats.

But when he's out in the kitchen and the other cats are there as well, he doesn't act weird around them at all, and they're all just indifferent to each other.

THEN I thought, well, maybe there's still fleas, in the throw rugs, and he's afraid to be on the rugs because he thinks he'll get flea-bit.  I thought it was probably not likely, because usually if there are fleas in the house I know it because *I* get bit, and because I haven't seen a flea in months, but it was a possibility.

So I flea treated every rug and every piece of upholstered furniture in the house.

He's still hiding in the cupboard.

I took him to the vet, who did a thorough examination and could find nothing wrong.  He did have some scabs on his neck and back (not in the area where he was flea-treated), which she thought might be indicative of an allergy to something other than fleas, so she put him on steroids to see if it eases the symptoms.  (She feels that it's easier and more productive to treat the symptoms of a pet allergy than it is to try to find out what exactly the allergy is.)   We're on Day Three of steroids, and while he is coming out of the cupboard for longer periods, he's still spending most of his time in there.

When he DOES come out, he's ... normal.  Eats, and drinks, and uses the litterbox, and rolls onto his back for bellyrubs and purrs.  But after five minutes, or ten, or half an hour ... it's right back in the cupboard.

I mean, I could SEE it if he had, like, wifi and gin and craps tables and kitty porn stashed in there, but there's just a colander in there, for Pete's sake!

I have to admit it.  Soda has me stumped.

Ideas/suggestions welcome.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

There goes the neighborhood

Several of my neighbors dump their yard waste in the park next door to my house.

Despite the fact that it is very, very easy to just mulch lawn clippings onto the lawn (that's what I do - all it involves is making an adjustment on the mower), and despite the fact that the local garbage service will collect yard clippings for twenty bucks a month, and DESPITE the fact that the town will pick up brush for FREE, several of my lovely neighbors insist on dumping their crap in the park.

There are now piles of yard waste in the park that have been there for years; when you heap yard waste in a big mound, it doesn't decompose; it just SITS THERE.  Looking like SH*T.

Dear neighbors:  I hate you.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Bad reviews of books I loved

I picked up a book off the "new books" display at the library the other day because it looked interesting, and then I went to Amazon to read the reviews.  I've found that it can be easier to just zero in on the one-star reviews first, because the five-star reviews are WAY too common to be reliable.  I've read some real stinkers that were rated five-star on Amazon, I'm just sayin'.

But then I got wondering, what would the one-star reviews of books that I LOVED look like?  Hmmm.

Boy's Life by Robert McCammon is probably my favorite book EVER.  Let's see what the one-star reviewers have to say:

"This is one of the most pointless books I have ever read."

 "This is the most boring book I had the misfortune to read in high school."

 "please do not read this book."

Oh dear.  Tell us how you REALLY feel, one-star reviewers!

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski:

"Do not waste your time on this."

"The worst book I ever read!"

"I wish I had never read it."

Okay, okay, so let's try a book that EVERYBODY loves.  To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.  SURELY no one can dog on Mockingbird, can they?

"It was one of the most boring books I ever read."

"If you suffer from insomnia, read this book."

"To Kill a Mockingbird is about as deep as a rain puddle."

I ... I guess there's just no accounting for taste.  Huh.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Out of my league

I went to a local reservoir on Sunday, and I was feeling all athletic-ish after going for a hike and following that with a swim, when I saw them.

A group of women doing paddleboard yoga.

Yup.  Yoga, on paddleboards, on the water.

So I went from feeling pleasantly athletic-ish to ... pretty lame, actually, all in the space of a few seconds.

But hell, I had AT LEAST twenty-five years on those KIDS, so there's that.  Ha.

And I saw this guy:

AND the views were super, as-always:

So all in all, a very good day.  Even if I didn't go yogaboarding.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Dear Kirby Vacuum salesman who knocked on my door last night:

The short answer is "No, thank you". The long answer is:

Really? In this day and age? When internet fact-checks are readily available? (See also: sellers of Mary Kay, Amway, diet-supplement-of-the-moment, etc.) You are involved in an MLM, aka Multi-Level-Marketing, aka Pyramid scheme. The ONLY people who make money in the company you volunteered for are at the very top. And yes, I use the words "volunteered for"  instead of "are employed by" , because not only will you not make minimum wage, you will probably end up in credit card debt after your little stint with this "amazing opportunity" is over. Please google the name of the company you are "working for" plus the word "scam" or "MLM" to find out exactly what you're getting into. (for Mary Kay, the best website is The products you are trying to sell are outdated and incredibly overpriced, and again, the only people who will make any money from this are the ones above you in the pyramid. Dude, it's now 9:30 at night, and you're STILL in a van with a bunch of other "employees", being shuffled from neighborhood to neighborhood, shilling a product that nobody wants. Trust me: You can do better.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Facebook Etiquette

So!  Over the past few days, a couple of sticky situations have arisen on my Facebook page.

First off, no, believe me, you ain't missin' nothing.  About the only thing I ever post there is pics of whichever foster kittens I'm tending at the time, to try to stir up interest in their adoptions.  I also link to stuff on local rescues' sites, blah blah blah, all kittens all the time.

It's like the Crazy Cat Lady's Facebook page.

But!  Over the weekend, my boss (yes, that boss, the racist one) sent me a friend request.

Umm ... When your boss wants to "friend" you on Facebook, is there really any way to say no?

yeah, I didn't think so.

And besides, like I said, all I ever post there is kitten pics, so who cares, right?

But!  I also received another friend request, from a guy who is "friends" with the woman who runs the rescue for which I volunteer.  He sometimes posts kitten pics, blah blah blah, on the rescue's page, so I thought, oh, okay, and accepted the request.

But then I went and checked out his page, and he's this hard-core right-wing nutbag.  Like, posting really obnoxious crap complaining about ... well, about stuff that right-wing a**holes complain about.  Welfare, "Unamericans", the whole nine yards.


So, I adjusted my settings so that his crap won't show up in my feed.  Problem solved!

Except now, he has started commenting on some of the stuff I put up. See again:  All kittens, all the time, and all he's commenting is stuff like, "Cute kittens!" or "It must be fun fostering!", but now that I know his politics, I'm just, like, all ... ick.

So I'm just "liking" his comments, without commenting back, and I don't really feel like I should unfriend him, because he's involved with the rescue, but


Facebook.  It's complicated.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Found! At the flea market


A set of original, steel-tipped, KILLER JARTS.  I saw this dusty box on a shelf at the flea market and I swear, my pulse started to race.  Did I buy them?  YOU BET I DID.

Oh, do these bring back memories!  I LOVED playing Jarts as a kid.  Of course, they were supposedly not a kids' toy at all, and were pulled from the market after injuries and deaths started to mount.  No, I'm not kidding; look up "lawn darts" on wikipedia and you'll see what I'm talking about.

I'm guessing that this particular set was manufactured in that brief period of time between when fatalities were starting to rise and the Feds finally yanked them off the market, thus the giant warning on the front of the box:

Let's play Jarts!  mwa ha ha ha ha ...

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Watkins Glen!

We got a lot of rain last night, so I headed for Watkins Glen this morning, figuring there'd be a lot of water running through the gorge.

Yes, indeedy!

Watkins Glen is not exactly an EASY hike:

and there's over eight hundred steps to the top of the gorge:

But I saw a woman doing it in flip-flops this morning, so what do I know?
It's just a pretty, pretty place to spend a day.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Meet the new crew!

Well, I postponed it for a week, but the rescue was having a big adoption event on Saturday, so it was time for the Wrecking Crew to go to a place where they could meet their new families.

But when a door closes, a window opens somewhere, so here we go again:

Meet the Terrific Trio!  From left:  Tuxie girl, tabby-and-white boy, and tortie girl.

They're four-ish weeks old.  Eating canned food!  Most of the litters I get have the trots, but these guys have the exact opposite problem, which means I can now add Manual Turd Puller to my resume. *sigh*

Welcome to foster camp, kids!  Enjoy your stay.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Freaky Friday - Weather House!

I mentioned that I was in Ithaca the other weekend and bought out Hobby Lobby.  I found some other cool stuff that day, too.

I stopped in one antiques store that I almost never go in because they're so overpriced, and look what I found high up on a shelf:

The faded label on the back said it was a "Weather Wizard".  After doing some googling, turns out they're also called "weather houses".  The little figures rotate in and out of the house depending on what the weather is.  Of course, here in great Upstate New York, we KNOW what the weather is - either raining or snowing - but still, it's a neat little thing.  Plus, it only cost me five bucks, so ... win!   The deer head makes the piece, I think. :)

On the way home, on impulse I swung into the parking lot of a furniture reseller, and look!

CONCRETE Virgin Mary.  I can't decide if I want to paint her pretty or keep the minimalist look.  Hmmm ...

That was a day of epic finds, no doubt about it.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Gratuitous cute kittens photos!

"aaaAAAAaaahhh help! help! the giant mousie iz attacking me!":

Mackie would like you to know that she is a perfect Size 8, just in case anyone's looking for a Size 8 kitten:

A rare pic - all four in one shot:


Gizmo, meet the Bossman:

Just a boy and his toy:

I took them to the rescue for their first vaccinations last Saturday.  I could have traded them for a younger litter in need of a foster home then, but ... nah.  A few more days with these guys, please.  Then it will be back to the rescue, where they can be seen by potential adopters and find their permahomes.  Boy oh boy, the time sure does fly, doesn't it?

Monday, July 06, 2015

Wheel of Exotic Pets

So, I was reading a link roundup at The Toast a while back, which included an article about efforts to tame foxes.

And the article, originally on the Popular Science website and strongly reminiscent of one I remember reading in National Geographic a while back, contained odd tidbits like this:  "Indiana has three classes of wild animals. Class 1 is mostly squirrels". And it linked to this:

Wheel of Exotic Pets

Go head and copy and paste that address into a browser.  I don't know why I found it so fascinating; probably all the little keys in the bottom, like "Pees in the House" and "Difficult to Feed".

So no, I don't want a koala or a slow loris or an otter for a pet.  But it's fun (and dismaying, tbh) to read about the nutcases who do.

Friday, July 03, 2015

Just in time for summer vacation!

Every year I read this article about Action Park, also known as Traction Park and Class Action Park, and laugh my butt off.  No, I never went there personally - I'm still alive, aren't I?  Make sure you read the comments as well:

Action Park memories!

I have several memories of childhood injuries, including broken fingers and a concussion, but none of them involved a visit to an amusement park.  Thankfully.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Go figure

From an article in today's local newspaper:

"The volunteers included a local Girl Scout group selling lemonade and 4-H members."