Friday, June 27, 2008

Thank you to donors...

Last month I received several donations in memory of Nick: two by mail, one via the Amazon link. And this month I received two donations via the Amazon link. I can't begin to tell you how much it amazes me that people send funds our way. Right now, it is a huge help, as I am purchasing cat food at full price because our low-cost option is not available in the summer, and am working to keep this place. While I am trying not to take in kittens this summer, adult cats are still coming our way, and the faster they get fixed, the faster they get out of here (and the less they eat!)

As always, our vet gives a generous 50% discount (and often more on extensive surgery). A neuter with vaccinations generally costs us $55, and a spay with shots about $90. All of this assistance is what makes our small effort a larger effort.

I'd also like to let you know how much ever stat on my blog counter means to me. To see people come back day after day is a great gift. I can't tell who you are, but I can tell generally where you are, and who your ISP is, so it's clear who faithfully returns.

Thank you!!!

Everyone needs distractions...

Does anyone have a drafting table kicking around that they need "stored?"

The fish tank is serving its purpose and providing sound and motion, which the cats are enjoying. I myself also need some distraction, and would like to break out the drawing supplies (and keep them out). I've got my eyes peeled for a drafting table, but I really don't need to own more "things," and would rather just borrow one that someone is currently tripping over, but may like back one day.

I figured I'd put some feelers out.

(Post Note: funny, someone else is also looking for a drafting table, on craigslist. Must be something in the air).

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Why should I live with ghosts?

As another day passes, I finally snapped over living surrounded by boxes and furniture and personal items of ghosts who choose not to abide here; who send no messages by either Ouija board or table knockings. A "chair-and-a-half" and ottoman on Craiglist reappeared with a plea of desperation by the owner (moving tomorrow, must go) so I offered what I felt I could afford and she said "yes."

The ghosts are being exorcised, one by one.

I was determined to get this in the house by myself, and did (end-over-end, btw). Ivan says "oh, what is that smell?" "Febreeze, dear, sorry." Had I known she was going to spray it, I would have told her I had far less stinky things to banish the mustiness of someone else's life.

Her two cats were pretty dilute calicos, and they were lounging on the balcony rail when I walked about trying to track down the proper apartment. The owner is on her way to Utah, with the cats following later. I tried to get a photo before I drove away, but alas, she called them in. It was really a pretty sight. Good luck to her on her trip!

I think this will do as far as furniture. I'll reposition the bookcases; box up books that do not belong to me, and deeply consider paint options. Check out the information on lowering ceilings on that web page. If I don't have the skill to cut cove molding, I do have the skill to wield a paint brush.

Speaking of paint, I'm working on painting the house, and I can also now continue painting the cat facility, since I hope to stay.

So you are all invited over to try out the new chair...but I suggest you wait until the Febreeze wears off....

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Purina 30-day Challenge

Purina is offering a 30 day supply of Purina One cat or dog food just for making a quick call and answering a few questions.. The toll free number is (800) 521-6300.... The call is totally automated and only takes a few minutes.

Thanks, Donna, for letting us know!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Cats, farm, and bears...

Work is busy, but I made a point of trying to get some things done around here today. I grant myself points for moving the newspaper box from way down at the intersection to in directly front of the house. While the walk was good for me, it was no fun in winter, and cutting down all that bamboo that was overgrowing the post simply was not going to happen.

I took ten minutes to enjoy the place this morning.

With all this rain, it looks like it's going to be a good blueberry year.

The Waverly folks came and picked up the newly-neutered Orange Juice, who will be happy to be back on his street again. He has the cutest worried look.

The bear paid me a visit the other night and bent down this bird feeder hook out of sheer spite. There was only an empty feeder on it, and the bear didn't even knock the feeder off. Needless to say, all the feeders are in tonight.

He/she also slurped up all the old cereal I put in the compost bin, and bent it all to heck.

I guess I'll get the enclosed compost tumbler out and put it somewhere away from the house. I'm also going to move the garbage cans into the way-bottom of the barn (below the cats).

Since I inherited the garden I've been trying my darnedest to keep it in shape. I have some seeds here to plant. I'd like to plant a ton of basil to make into pesto to freeze for the winter. There's some that Mark put in that's doing well, but it's not enough for a really big batch.

Donna and Tim gave me these two sturdy but lightweight carpets which look great in the downstairs of the cat facility.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Caring for the Ithaca cats

Kat sent me an email last week that one of the hinges was blown on the Fast Food Feral feeding station, and of course I knew it was also grown up into a jungle down there, so after mowing my lawn, I heaved the mower into the back of the truck, along with the screw gun and the weedwacker, and headed into Ithaca.

I stopped on South Hill to feed Gillian, but she was already fed. Thank you.

I don't spend much time in Ithaca any longer. I had not seen the mural along Cayuga Street, and it gave me a reason to smile today.

I'm absolutely beat, so I'm afraid I'm not too creative in the department of wordage, today. Hopefully the mural photos make up for it. You should click on that second one for the full effect.

Nothing much to post

Perhaps I'll add more later.

Perhaps not!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Anticipating a storm...

This is a beautiful place to be when a storm hits.

There is a nasty line of thunderstorms headed right at us, according to I'm headed off to a friend's house for a party that under normal circumstances would be a "bonfire, boys, and beer" party, but looking at the front that is headed our way, we may be inside.

It's just "thinking about storming" right now, and that's when it's the most enjoyable to walk around the farm. The trees are tossing, and you can hear thunder in the distance. It's safe to get a few more passes on the lawn mower, but it's important to put it away when you leave. Bear, however, took my invitation to go inside, and isn't interested in coming out again. I'm afraid, looking at the radar, he will be banished to a cage in the barn when I leave, because it appears it will be too nasty to leave him outside. Ivan's nose will be out of joint if I leave Bear in the house.

Today was fairly productive. I hauled trash to the transfer station, and arranged to get the transfer station kitten to the vet next week. For once, most of the trash was "house" trash versus "cat" trash, as I've been brutal about throwing things out, especially food. If I'm not going to eat it, and no one has come to take it away, it becomes compost, recycling, or trash.

I made cupcakes. Yes indeed I did. I'll take most to the party tonight, but I kept some of them for breakfast (unfrosted), as there is nothing I like so much as unfrosted chocolate cake for breakfast, with good coffee. I'll shortly be making something dinner-like for the party as well.

I did some mowing, took care of the cats, and went fish shopping at Totalily Water Gardens. I got three pretty comet-type fish, and because I got them from Tim and Donna, they'll mean far more to me than fish from the big box pet store.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

And yes, we are still rescuing!

The Waverly folks brought Orange Tea (I think? Or is it Orange Juice?) over to be neutered. He has an appointment tomorrow to be neutered and get his eye checked. The Barton Transfer Station people also found a kitten that I promised to get combo tested...but I lost their number. Call me! Also, Bear goes in for a combo test tomorrow.

The ground rules are these: I can still help spay/neuter, but I can't take any more cats in, and I can't pay as much as I did before. We have space to recover cats. I can care for cats temporarily.

I can't go broke and lose my place, and I can't get overfull. That's it.


The house is pretty quiet. Having Bear around, with his incessant chatter, has been helpful at creating sound waves.

I've accepted that I'm going to have to ultimately rent the upstairs. This means the downstairs needs to be set up as "home" all the way around. It's what I'll one day be living in. That's no problem. It's large enough.

I've been lurking on Craigslist, watching for futon couches (just missed one today, drat it!) when I made this mistake of clicking on the "pets" classification.

And there it was. A 30 gallon fish tank for a ridiculously low price. I assumed it would be encrusted with years of hard water deposits, but no, it was a shining clean watertight tank, with a nice hood and working lamp.

I have "done the aquarium thing" before, and in fact cared for an entire aquarium room in a previous job. It's a lot of work, and you can sink a lot of money into chemicals, "stuff," decorations, and fish. And then they get sick and die if you are impatient, or they come laden with parasites.

However, I have, I hope, learned how to avoid all this.

All it takes is...patience.

Patience is something I'm having a hard time with right now. Especially patience with long, quiet, tasks that allow me to think about things that bother me. I'd much rather run outside and push the mower determinedly back and forth for an hour with the radio earphones on. No thinking.

But setting up a fish tank takes thinking. First, there is the moving of furniture. I didn't expect this to cause as much anxiety as it did. Moving the furniture meant accepting that anything can go anywhere I want it to...and no one will care.

Then there was cleaning the gravel. You can be impatient with this (or even fail to do it) and what you end up with is a mess. Dust and water everywhere, or a cloudy tank that takes a day or more to clear. I've learned that if you take your time, it's not the turmoil it could be. But it takes time. Which gives large spaces of time for thinking. More anxiety. Sigh.

Then there is filling the tank. Another snail's pace job that can be a real mess if you get hasty, grab a big bucket, and start sloshing 30 gallons of water from one end of the house to the other. In two gallon jugs, mess. But, it takes longer. More time to think about things I didn't want to think about.

I began to just accept the pace. I didn't want water on wood furniture. I didn't want a mess to clean up. I wanted this to be something that ultimately made me happy, and gave me a few nice, placid fish to watch. I would save three poor Comets from an overstocked tank at some big box store, where they had been destined as dinner for another fish. Instead they would now grow big and fat in their own large tank.

Fill jug, walk, pour, return, fill jug. Less anxiety.

By the time the tank was filled (not a single oversplash), the filter unpacked and installed, the hood on, the light glowing, the anxiety was gone. It took a few big breaths now and then, but it was gone.


I put water on for tea and went to look at the tank. I'd forgotten a few things about aquaria. First, with a deep tank, you need a long-handled tool to smooth the gravel that ends up in uneven hills after you pour in volumes of water. Second, tiny little bubbles stick all over the tank for quite awhile and interfere with that beautiful clear effect you get a tank for.

When I was younger I would have found some unsuitable something (usually a kitchen tool that was far too short) to try and smooth the gravel, and I would have tried to sweep the bubbles off with my hand, getting soaked to the shoulder.

You know what? The hilly gravel will be just fine until another day, and the bubbles will unstick in a day as well, all on their own. No fuss, no muss, no mess.

The major miracle here is that I set up the tank...before getting fish! If you've seen people walking out of a pet store with a new tank in a box and live fish in bags, they probably also have purchased a bunch of little bottles of chemicals they were told they needed to balance the water chemistry.

If you set up your tank a few days to a week in advance, your water will be room temperature, the chlorine will be naturally dispersed, and your tank will have started to age and begin the nitrogen cycle that will make it stable and keep your fish alive. No wasting money on chemicals.

No one wants to be this patient, however. They want those fish right now. And then they kill them being hasty. I don't want to kill creatures in my attempt to create something beautiful and calming.


I may be learning patience.

The gravel I chose? Well, that took time as well. And I finally settled on black. Yeah, black. I wanted "calm," but it's going to be awhile before I'm ready for "cheerful." I'll take my fish in formal gold and black, and I'll leave it to the cats to make me laugh.

Legislation alert from Neighborhood Cats

from Neighborhood Cats - for NY residents:

Please take a moment to send a copy of the email below to your Assembly Member ASAP!!!! You can find your assembly member's name and then contact info by going to

Enter your zip code, then click on the name that appears. Email is in the righthand column. If you can, please also make a phone call.

In short, we need to defeat a bill that is up for a vote imminently - A. 11492 would, in a backhand way, make it illegal for any municipality to fund a TNR program unless the Legislature specifically passes a bill to allow it. Action is needed now to stop this!!

Please copy and paste the letter below and add your name and address at the bottom. thank you!!!

Bryan Kortis
Executive Director
Neighborhood Cats


Dear Assemblymember ___________,

I'm writing concerning A.11492, which may be up for a vote today!

Yesterday, the Senate passed a bill that would amend Agriculture &Markets Law section 374 to essentially say that "notwithstanding" the language dictating that shelters can only release cats for adoption or owner redemption, the city of Elmira can run a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program.

TNR is a method for reducing and managing feral and stray cat populations through sterilization and vaccination for rabies. It is endorsed by The Humane Society of the United States, the ASPCA and many other leading animal welfare organizations.

This bill tells municipalities unequivocally that it is illegal for them to fund a TNR program without an express exemption in the statute. This is extremely harmful because it codifies an interpretation of section 374 that is questionable at best and it does this to the detriment of any locality in the state (other than Elmira) that either currently helps to fund, or plans to help to fund a TNR program.

This will damage TNR programs currently funded by NY municipalities and could significantly dampen the growth of TNR state-wide. Please help us defeat its passage in the Assembly!!

Respectfully from your constituent,
[Your name]
[Your address]

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Shopping for tick shampoo...

Uck. Bear has ticks! After holding him on the porch, I found a teeny tiny deer tick on my neck. Argh! I knew I was going to have the heebie jeebies unless I took a shower, and a flea/tick shower at that. But I had no flea/tick shampoo in the house, so I headed into town, wasting precious gas because regular soap just wouldn't do it for my overactive imagination.

I figured I'd make every drop of gas worth it, so stopped by South Hill to check in on the cats there. They had no food, so I filled up the bowl and yelled for Gillian, a resident feral cat for at least six years. And surprise...she came trotting out from the recycling area as soon as I climbed into the truck (click for larger; sorry about the lousy photos).

She hesitated before crossing the driveway, and I thought perhaps someone was coming. But when I drove out, I discovered it wasn't a human that had drawn Gillian's interest. It was this lovely deer.

So catching a glimpse of Gillian made the trip well worth it.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Poached, as usual, from Potter's Blog

Something for the dog people...particularly the single dog people.

Where does he find this stuff?

"Effectively Managing Feral Cats" kit from HSUS

My mail bore presents yesterday. A copy of HSUS's new feral cat kit on Effectively Managing Feral Cats.

I am suitably impressed. I saw the DVD when I was in Florida at the National Feral Cat Summit (which is where I signed up in advance to receive this when it was released) and it is a very well-done, professional presentation of TNR, suitable for public viewing and for use with town boards, etc. when you are attempting to explain and promote TNR. The brochures (two whole packs) address all homeless cats, not just ferals, and the book is clearly done.

I'll curl up with this tonight, once it has cooled down and the daily work is done (sort of).

Lovin' people who post on Youtube

For the fun of it, I went to Youtube and plugged in Petfinder.

Friday, June 13, 2008


I think about shopping:

A) when a catalog shows up in the mail and I am reading it, thinking about what it would be fun to buy (but don't) and,
B) when I am in a store, ummm, actually shopping, and...
C) the first two months after I discovered eBay. Then it wore off.

Who are these women? And where did they conduct this survey?

Shoes and bags? Okay, I don't even think about CATS 74% of my time.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Nick's tree

Nick's tree.

Walking with Bear

It turns out that Bear is more dog than cat. Like our old cat Nick, Bear goes for walks. Unlike Nick, he leads, and doesn't ask to be carried home.

The local natural gas meeting last night was extremely helpful. There were so many issues I hadn't even thought of (do you know that landowners have been sued by gas company workers who were injured while working on the property?). The best part, however, was getting to see a lot of my neighbors. I haven't been very interactive in the Spencer community (other than chasing a lot of cats), so this my be my opportunity to meet people who live near me. The organizers of the gathering have already set up a Yahoogroups site at

And this is the land under which natural gas lies. A deer crossed the path in front of me this morning, and a few moments later a tiny fawn followed. I was too slow to get a photo.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Our guns don't bark (smile)

I need a buddy who barks and would like walks on the hill. And for whom I would only need to put up a 4' fence. What do you think?

I'm actually thinking about just fostering. Seeing if a local shelter would be interested in some of their dogs getting week-long breaks and training.

Also, my friend Nancy wants to sight in her .22. I'm thinking about getting a cop friend of mine to come here and do a gun-safety program (he's a firearms instructor). Are there any more local gun-owning women who would be interested in something like that?

The litterbox is here!

It's very large, but very light.

And totally plastic, so you can take it outside and hose it off. I'm a little concerned about how it would fare with a cat who doesn't keep his butt in the middle, but most of my personal cats are neat.

Well, we'll give it a try!

I think Bear likes having company. I know I do.

Hey, I never claimed to have attractive feet, OK?


I am experiencing an interesting change in focus. Previously, I put my $XXX a month into the house account (as did my husband) and he paid the bills. When bills went up over time, we increased our contribution. The rest of our personal funds went into our personal accounts to use as we wished.

Now I still have the house account, but of course the contributions will be my own. I've done the numbers, and the numbers say things will be OK. But we know what numbers are. They are only real numbers if they match reality. That means, if you budget XX toward groceries, you'd best only eat $XX worth of groceries. If you budget $XX for the electric bill, you'd best make sure the electric bill stays $XX.

When the temperature hits 97F in the second week of June and you have fans running in both the cat facility and the house, this blows $XX right out the window (literally).

Today, I had a great trip to the vet. I always have a great trip to the vet, even if I have a sick cat (I took Rudy in today for his snotty nose), because the entire staff at Cornerstone is so wonderful. I bought this farm from my vet, and the staff was happy to hear I would be keeping it after all.

Today, E. had brought in eggs from her chickens, and asked if I needed some. I had just purchased a half dozen and told her first "no," then, "well, maybe a half dozen because I won't eat a dozen and a half eggs." So we split her dozen to share with someone else and I took 6 home.

It occurred to me, as I was looking in my refrigerator deciding what to eat tonight, that in the "real world"--of which I have not really been a part for a decade--when one offers you free food, you graciously take it. And if you don't normally eat a dozen-and-a-half eggs before they would no longer be fresh, perhaps you would in fact do so now, if that is the very good food you happen to have in your refrigerator. Because that would be dinners you did not have to buy. And there are countless ways to fix eggs.

So tonight, I had two nice eggs scrambled with a little bit of milk, and some cheese melted in. I almost cracked three eggs instead, but stopped. I haven't been that hungry lately, and why compost perfectly good food if I didn't finish it? That leaves an egg for another day.

They were very good. Thanks, E!

And Bear liked the scrapings from the frying pan. My house cats are snobs and won't eat such things.

I considered getting chickens again (around here, people give chickens away, and we have had them in the past--they are the nicest birds!), but quite frankly the cost of feeding them and keeping them warm in winter is more than the cost of the eggs themselves. So I'll hold off on that for awhile.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Blackie comes home

This winter I posted about another local cat rescuer who was fixing cats in a trailer park and needed a place for them to stay.

The great big toms she caught ended up staying here quite awhile. They were friendly, and far too big for their cages, and I would let them out to exercise.

Blackie, not content with his nice warm barn, punched a pane of glass out of one of the barn windows, leaped into the deep snow, and was gone.

I started putting food out, and I would see him on the porch after dark. As soon as I made a sound, he was gone like a shot. He never ate more than a quarter cup of dry food. I never saw him at all during the day. There are other neighbors who put food out for their cats, so I assumed he was munching at their houses, too.

When the bears became a problem, we started being more careful about foodstuff outdoors. And when Nick died, his daytime food bowl was removed. I was putting out food for Blackie, but frankly, with all that has gone on these past few weeks, I forgot all about him.

Two nights ago, Ivan was starting out the window, lashing his tail, and I saw a black cat on the path to the house. I took out a can of food and called him. Once I was in the house, he came up on the porch and ate it all.

The next night, it wasn't yet dark, and there he was, by the woodpile. He started to run, but when I called him, he turned around. All it took was a pat of my hand on the porch, and he came running back.

So guess what.

Yeah, that's Nick's collar on him.

It's too hot to shut up a cat in the cat facility who has been running around the farm for months, anyway.

I would be happy if he didn't meow constantly though. That seems to have worn off a bit today, but then it's beastly hot and he's probably worn out.

He came running from the barn when I called him this afternoon.

It looks like Wildrun has a barn cat again. I'm open to finding him another place, though. Maybe he'll charm some visitor.

Now he needs a better name than "Blackie."

Post-note: I've decided, given our charismatic megafauna issues lately, to name him "Bear." I realize it's not original, but it fits him, and it fits this place too.

I took down the previous post.

I have a habit of doing that.

I am keeping the farm.
I guess there's not much more to be said.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Needed, Ithaca cat-feeder, weekends

(Post-Note: I had my own email address wrong in the post below. Sigh. Thanks, Alice, for letting me know)

Given the price of gas, it would be great if someone in Ithaca might be willing to feed the Fast Food Ferals on Saturday and Sunday. Usually I go into town at least once, and it's good for me to go (for example, I need to mow their little strip of land!) and check on them. But gas is skyrocketing, and two trips are a lot. It needs to be done, though. If they are my cats, legally they've gotta be fed every day.

Kat feeds them every weekday, which is a huge help. In fact, over the years, I've always been able to find dedicated people who will take care of them during the week. Kat has been doing it for a couple of years now, and I rest easy knowing she's there. Mark has always been a secure back-up.

But it would be nice knowing someone would be around to look in on them on the weekend.

So if there is anyone who drives down the Route 13 business district (the fast food/Walmart area) on the weekends, could you drop me a line? My email address is info at americancat dot net (change that to customary email format). Even just one day would help, but I need to be able to count on the person doing it, or emailing me to let me know they can't.

It takes exactly three minutes, and just involves putting a scoop of food from their secure can of food (on site) to the bowl in their feeding station. That's it!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

When in need of a manifesto...

The Mad Farmer Liberation Front
by Wendell Berry

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.

So, friends, every day do something
that won't compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.

Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.

Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion - put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?

Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn't go. Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Morning farm flowers

Friday, June 06, 2008


There's only one good thing about a blazingly hot day. And that's the beautiful cool evening that follows.

There is nothing more peaceful than sitting down on the porch after some hard yard work, feeling the evening settle down around you, hearing the neighbor's kids play somewhere in the distance, smelling someone's barbecue...somewhere...too far away to see. The birds come out to sing, the rabbits are playing in the yard (no longer terrorized by Nick), and the wind finally picks up after a day of deadly dull heat.

It's beautiful. I love it.

The cats weren't happy about the heat today, mostly because I hadn't prepared for it in advance, and they had to put up with me banging around, replacing all the heaters with fans. I'll probably pick up a new fan or two tomorrow in Ithaca, as I do every year.

However, it is perfectly cool downstairs in the house, and my house felines all stayed upstairs in the heat with me, so it's their own choice. Ditz was the exception, choosing to park her butt on the kitchen table all day long.

Turkey hens are making querulous noises across the creek. Summer has arrived.

Morning music

I poached this from the Potters Blog. (some day, I'm going to order mugs with little eartipped cats, from him)

I haven't heard this song in ages. And, in a nod to video, I had never been as fascinated by the percussion until I actually "saw" it being played...though I have heard the song hundreds of times. You may need to get the refrain before you recognize this, if you haven't heard it for years, either.

Dessert and Art at the Main Street Cafe

Last night Donna and I went out for pie and coffee, and got a great dose of wildlife art, at the Main Street Cafe

I had gone for their $9.99 dinner special on Wednesday. I had lamented that I hadn't brought my camera. So when Donna suggested a Thursday outing, I was happy to have an excuse to return in the same week.

Strawberry rhubarb pie and coffee. Simply heaven.

Even more fortuitously, Amy Christian, the artist, works at Main Street, so we not only got to enjoy her artwork, we got to enjoy sharing her experience of creating them.

It is wonderful to see "sold" stickers on almost 1/2 of an artist's show (some have already been removed by their buyers).

(Note: the odd bits of lightness on the artwork are, of course, caused by my flash and reflections from the lights in the room)

The I received my own little bit of artwork. Donna had found a craftsperson on the Petfinder forums, and arranged to get this sign for the "new Wildrun."

I'm afraid I may be impatient and hang it on the "old Wildrun" just because I can, and because I want to look at it and not pack it away--as a reminder of how important friends are.

(Post-note: the artist has an esty page! here.)

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Litterworks REALLY wants to give me a cat box

So I kept getting email from Litterworks. They wanted to give me a free cat box system, to introduce me to their donation program, so I just assumed you had to be a 501(c)(3) organization. After email number three, where they politely asked if I wanted to be removed from their list, I emailed back and said I was an "out of pocket rescue."

And they said they still wanted to send me a litterbox system.

So! I love free stuff, and I have lots of cats who will gladly test a litterbox system. So I'll let you know how it goes. I'm especially interested, as my mother has a bad back, but I'm not quite sure I can envision my mom's cat Oliver jumping up to use the box. Oliver is a little...ummm...tubby. But you never know!

Meeting internet friends on video...

My supervisor sent this video around today, and as I watched, I heard them announce Joanna Harkin of ASAP, whom I have known via email for oh...six years? Now I finally get to see her...and I almost said "in real life." Well, video isn't quite "real life" but it's getting one step closer. Maybe someday we will actually meet!

You can view the video here.

Thank goodness there are Mad Cat Men

And you can read all about them here.
"Even after writing a book about my life as a cat-lover, admitting that my living room is full of hair, scratching posts and plastic sticks with feathers on feels slightly taboo. Of course, I'm not really mad. My house might get a bit smelly when I haven't vacuumed or checked under the sofa for a few days, but it is by no means a health hazard. True, I did once put a necktie on one of my cats when he was asleep, but I have never bought them an item of clothing and I don't call them “fur babies”.

I do, however, own six, which can feel a little like living with half a dozen miniature versions of Mariah Carey."

It really could be worse.

more cat pictures

Science blog - Tetrapod Zoology

I'm trying to find a few blogs for the blogroll that are personable, but also exercise my brain. Here's one.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Rolling Dog Ranch on YouTube

You can view lectures at Berkeley...

I was reading the Chronicle of Higher Education and learned that professors at some universities post their lectures on Which means you and I, for free, can take a Berkeley course. You won't get credit, but you get the learning.

And that, my friend, is simply amazing.

Remember, if a lecture is too long for one sitting, you can just come back and fast forward it when you have more time.

Here's a new animal rights blog to read...

They are hard to find. I stumbled across the blog for Deep Roots Sanctuary by accident today. It's on the blogroll now.

You just have to check out...

...this pet note. Does someone know how to do it right, or what? The TOES! Oh my, the TOES! And instantly your standard "white-cat-with-a-genetic-grease-mark-on-his-head" is extra special.

Check out their other photos while you are at it.

Bored? Surf Cafe Press

It's funny where you can find distraction. I like looking for cat art, and sometimes that means looking in the most conventional (but unexpected) places. Like Cafe Press. Check this out. Running searches like "dog" "cat" or "rescue" gets you everything from the mundane to the cheerful to the beautiful.

Here's the section I like best.

Also, this page.

I like to look, but seldom buy, because there are very few printed t-shirts I actually end up wearing. Maybe I should make a quilt out of them all (in my free time). And at this point in my life I have more mugs than I know what to do with.

However, someday I'll buy this bumper sticker.

OK, distraction over. Back to work.

TNR group-of-the-day

Here's a CA trio rescuing ferals in California.
Deanne DeGrandpre, 45, of Eastvale, launched the site to help her daughter, Elizabeth Lloyd, 17, and her boyfriend, Devon Powell, 19, unload the neglected cats.

The two began catching strays several months ago at Swan Lake Country Estates Mobile Home Park in Mira Loma, where Powell lives.

Swan Lake became overrun by hundreds felines that fight and breed litter after litter. Some were dumped by residents, others are feral interlopers that band together in colonies.

Now the teenagers are part of an ad hoc cat coalition to catch orphaned felines.

Their website is here.

Elmira champions TNR

What a turnaround. Which shows it can be done.

Monday, June 02, 2008

The floor gets painted, "foot" by "foot"


Cricket has been helping.

We're getting there. I always knew that puppy pen would come in handy some day. (Actually, I was certain it was a heinous waste of money. I'm glad to see it is earning its keep.)