14 July, 2011

Oh my darlin, oh my darlin…

Edit The internet works in record time! Clementine has a home to go to and the Best Mother Ever is saved from temptation!

Oh my darlin, Clementine!
Clementine, a small fluffy kitten who is mostly grey with white undercarriage and a big yellow triangle in the middle of her face, lies with her body on its side and her head upside down, looking at the camera.

Look at that face. That is the face of a kitten who needs a place to live that is not our bathroom. Seriously, look at it.

Clementine again, but this time with her head turned sideways  She has green eyes with a ring of blue around the pupil, and is wearing very chic eyeliner.

This is after twelve hours as a house kitten. She purrs. She snuggles. She projects an adorabubble that can bring strong men to their knees saying things like “Aren’t you precious, yes you are.” in a fabulous English accent.

Sometimes, she is even upright:
Clementine one last time, this time with her head actually upright.

You know the drill, gentle readers. And we need to find her a home before the Best Mother Ever sees her. The Best Mother Ever has a weakness for calicos, but she’s on vacation and not checking the internet much for the next week. You have seven days, internet! Meanwhile, she goes to the vet for initial vetting on Monday, at which point I will be able to tell you more about her health status. So far, she gets along well with her brother Crispin, but has not met anyone else and shows a distinct lack of interest in meeting dogs.

Standard Kitten Boilerplate:
1) She always has a place here. If the new owner cannot keep her for any reason, I will not ask questions, I will not judge, I will not grouse on my blog. I will just come get the cat and bring her back to the Manor.

2) I will drive up to four hours from Fredericksburg, VA to put her in a new home. This covers most of the state of Virginia, a good chunk of Maryland, a good chunk of West Virginia, and even goes as far as Gettysburg, PA (I take the back roads to avoid I-95).

3) She must be an indoor kitty. Clementine has lived the outdoor life and now deserves to be safe in a climate-controlled environment with soft beds and lots of toys.

4) No declawing. It’s mean. Just no.

5) Yes, she is adorable. But you know what? Surprise kittens make crap gifts, y’all. Therefore I will need to be in contact with the actual person with whom young miss Clementine will be living. I do not care how well you know your friend/roomie/spouse/partner/parent/sibling/dentist. Clementine is not a good present.

6) As of right now I have no idea how she does with other critters, because she’s still in quarantine. Look for more info after her check-up and FIV/FeLV testing!

Briar Rose brings a surprise. Well, several surprises.

So we knew about Crispin (who incidentally has a home lined up! Huzzah!) and a skittish little black and white kitten. Crispin, of course, is living in our bathroom at the moment and enjoying life as an indoor cat. The most we were expecting to see on the kitten front, therefore, was one more.

Except this morning, Briar Rose brought three kittens with her. The little black and white kitten, a small fluffy calico and white girl who looks like the departed Grace except for the long hair, and one who may be another calico or may be a grey and white tabby (it was too skittish for Daniel to get a good look).

The little long-haired calico and white girl was hungry enough that I managed to grab her, therefore pictures will follow. With the other two, we are pretending to ignore them but put wet food in the trap this morning to accustom kitties to going in there to eat. Fingers crossed that we can manage to get the next two soon, too, and then we can bring Briar Rose in.

11 July, 2011

Crispin wants you to want him.

EDIT Happily, Crispin has a home! And because cats are devious, Briar Rose brought not just one little black and white kitten with her to breakfast this morning (14 July) but three. Stand by for further kitten offers!

Briar Rose brought up two kittens this morning. One little black and white one, skittish as heck, and…Crispin.

Crispin, a teeny tiny cream-colored kitten with a dirty nose, a stripey orange tail, and beautiful pale blue eyes, stands on my husband's leg and looks toward the camera.

Who is possibly Crispina. He is very young. But you know what that means, gentle readers! It means that I am about to impose upon you once again to publicize a Cat What Needs A Home. Because while this guy is grade-A weapons-grade cute, we have five cats. We do not need six cats. Someone out there, on the other hand, needs a tiny adorable cat. Like this one. Does he purr? Gentle readers, if his cute is weapons-grade, his purr will strike down nations with one soft motory exhale. He likes to nibble your fingers while you scritch his tummy. This evening, his first evening in a new place, he has discovered the wonder of TOYS. He thinks a sparkle puffball is just about the coolest thing he’s ever seen. He uses the litter box for all appropriate functions. He eats like a very, very tiny horse. Oh and also? He has only been indoors for 15 hours, and he has already learned to disapprove:

Crispin, a tiny cream colored kitten with a stripey orange tail and pale blue eyes, sits in the bathroom floor, looks toward the camera, and disapproves.

Specs:
I am kind of sure Crispin is a boy, but will not rule out the possibility that he is actually Crispina. It is hard to tell with kittens this small. He is a flame point, but any Siamese ancestry is so far in the past that all he’s likely to have is the coloring. Crispin is a genuine purebred Manor Cat for sure, though. He will go to the vet as soon as we can get him in to check him for FIV/FELV, get him dewormed, and get him vax appropriate to his age. We will hold onto him until he is old enough to be neutered, and then we will have him snipped and get him his rabies vaccination so he’s all legal and stuff.

Somewhere out there is a person who wants, no, NEEDS this tiny adorable ball of felinity. Gentle readers, we must make sure that person sees this post. Here are the Boilerplate Kitten Legalities:

1) He always has a place here. If the new owner cannot keep him for any reason, I will not ask questions, I will not judge, I will not grouse on my blog. I will just come get the cat and bring him back to the Manor.

2) I will drive up to four hours from Fredericksburg, VA to put him in a new home. This covers most of the state of Virginia, a good chunk of Maryland, a good chunk of West Virginia, and even goes as far as Gettysburg, PA (I take the back roads to avoid I-95).

3) He must be an indoor kitty. Crispin has lived the outdoor life and now deserves to be safe in a climate-controlled environment with soft beds and lots of toys.

4) No declawing. It’s mean. Just no.

5) Yes, he is adorable. But you know what? Surprise kittens make crap gifts, y’all. Therefore I will need to be in contact with the actual person with whom young master Crispin will be living. I do not care how well you know your friend/roomie/spouse/partner/parent/sibling/dentist. Crispin is not a good present.

6) As of right now I have no idea how he does with other critters, because he’s still in quarantine. Look for more info after his check-up and FIV/FeLV testing!

25 February, 2011

I’m so bad at waiting.

Recently I ordered several dog-related items. One is a new crate for Sid; while the Dobes’ puppy crate is tall enough for him it’s not really long enough, so when he’s trying to eat he hunches his back and it gets to be too short for him. I’ve ordered him the next size up which should do him for a while, I hope!

One of the other things I ordered is a cheesey at-home agility kit, which includes a short tunnel, six weave poles, and a jump. My dogs are going to by-dog have fun with that thing if it kills them. I am kind of frothing at the mouth waiting for it to get here so I can start expecting my dogs to enjoy themselves. Part of the reason I wanted it was Sid, because he often has trouble remembering where his entire body is (in his head, he is still a puppy small enough for me to pick up and snuggle), and another part of it is Tink, who could use some physical confidence what with her wonky vision and all. I expect great shenanigans trying to convince Tink to scuttle through even this brief tunnel. She will probably take one look at weave poles and laugh at me.

In cat-related news, we are trying to keep an eye out for Briar Rose to bring her in. She’s the last of the adult breeding females that I need to wrangle and spay and I’d like to find her a home if I can. We’re at five cats, which is quite enough permanent cats thank you, although if the right home came along for Emmaline I would not tell them no. She needs a quieter place than here, with fewer, quieter dogs, but it has to be someone who realizes that she is slow to warm up and will work with her on her terms and at her speed. Generally speaking, people like that are also at capacity for cats, so Emmaline is more than welcome to stay here forever.

Hopefully this weekend weather will cooperate and I can get out and get chicken pics, Ayinnanku and Bebelina have grown HUGE and I keep thinking they will start laying any. day. now. We’ve had a total of 72 eggs from Matilda and Lorena, and are down to a cost of $11 and some change per egg which isn’t bad considering that not long ago we had $50 eggs once the cost of the chicken facilities was figured in.

5 January, 2011

She’s a real Noodlehead

It’s been a while since we brought Noods into the house. After her very, very dramatic first entry months and months ago, where she panicked and tried to climb the bathroom walls to escape, I was expecting a lot more drama. But she’s actually been the easiest integration, once she made up her mind to come inside. She doesn’t pick fights with anyone, she doesn’t attack the dogs, she just does her thing. She’s pretty definite about when she wants to be snuggled and when she wants to be petted and when she does not, and ignoring her when she tells you she does not want contact is a quick way to wind up bleeding, but all things considered, she’s really no trouble at all.

Unlike Emmaline, who is still periodically really, really violent with other cats and even with dogs. Sigh. We’ve come to the conclusion that Emmaline just Does Not Like to Share. Also after much discussion, we’ve come to the conclusion that Noodlehead will be staying here. Emms is a question mark, though, with her unpredictably violent episodes she’s not the greatest candidate for life in a busy household like this one. So at some point here I will probably be looking to find her a place where there are, at least, fewer critters she has to share her things with.

It’s hard, these decisions. I try to keep reminding myself that every permanent cat is one fewer rescue slot, and that furthermore Emms would be a lot happier with a quieter, less populated place, but I’m quite fond of the little bugger even if she does go all berserker from time to time.

Meanwhile her sister Noodlehead spends the vast majority of her time on the heated cat bed in my work room, with periodic forays to demand petting and snuggling. She’s even snuggling with dogs, for serious, in the past 24 hours she’s cuddled up to both Tink and Beowulf. Some kitties, I guess, were just meant to be here.

18 December, 2010

Happy Winterthing!

Right, so, some people don’t Do Holidays, and of the people I know who Do Holidays, there are various holidays being celebrated. I have a tendency to be something of a scrooge about Christmas, and it was a few years back when my also-scroogey beloved friend Liz and I began wishing each other a Happy Winterthing.

Winterthing has no specific date, but it happens in winter, and generally in late December. Possibly. It’s hard to pin down a holiday with no specific date. At any rate, my husband is more Christmas-positive than I am, so this year to show willing I have actually put up a Christmas tree. And then I coerced the cats (or at least the cats open to coercion) into behaving adorably near the Christmas tree, so I could take pictures, and end result, gentle readers, is a very special Winterthing Greeting from the Manor of Mixed Blessings to you.

…probably I should never be allowed near PhotoShop, but whatever. Behold!
Roo, an orange and white Cornish Rex cat, and Juniper, a black and white kitten, sit on a shelf next to a small wilted artificial Christmas Tree with one red ornament on it. The text reads 'I expect to pass through life but once. If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again. --William Penn' at the top and 'Happy Winterthing from the Manor of Mixed Blessings' at the bottom.

17 December, 2010

It lives!

Sorry for the long hiatus, a combination of the dreaded FINALS WEEK plus chronic pain problems (which I am finally seeing a doc for, but which are probably not anything curable, just manageable) have kept me from having extra time and energy. But here is an omnibus update!

1) Juniper: still the cutest kitten ever. He’s gotten somewhat less laid-back now that he’s been dewormed. His favorite toy is a brown stuffed mouse we found on clearance at PetCo. He beats it up, he carries it around, he growls and prepares to throw down with other cats who so much as look at his stuffymouse. I’m waiting to hear back from his potential new home, but have high hopes he will be moving on to his Forever Home come January when we get him neutered!

2) Noodlehead: She came inside, as I mentioned! And she is having a good ol time hanging out and being warm and safe in the bathroom. She deeply prefers Daniel to me, though, as my bloody finger will attest. Any guys out there who would like a tabby and white girl of uncommon charm to share the couch with?

3) IT SNOWED YESTERDAY. 3″ of the stuff. The county hasn’t bothered to clear the road, so here I am at home. No one is happy about the snow but Zille. The chickens are DEEPLY disapproving and despite the fact that we did MacGyver a roof onto their pen, they are spending most of the time either on their house or under it (when they’re not eating). Matilda is producing about an egg a week, which has brought our egg cost down to $29.02 per egg. I am able to be this precise because I set up a new and shinier egg cost spreadsheet, which debits the chickens for the cost of their feed and the cost of eggs we have had to buy since their production slowed, but credits them for the market value of cage-free eggs for the ones they have laid.

…yes, I am a dork, why do you ask?

4) Christmas shopping is pretty much done, we were able to use the best discount codes so buying the gifts wasn’t so bad, and next week we get to see our friends Kate and Loiosh when they stop by on their own Holiday Odyssey! And then they will come back through on their way home. We are excited. Incidentally, Kate is having a Christmas Sale! You have four days left to order before Christmas if you see something you like!

5) My quest for The Perfect Leash continues. I just ordered a custom multi-function leash with integrated limited-slip collar from Bold Lead Designs. It will work for both Zille and Beowulf, and if it is half as good as I suspect it will be, then I’ll probably order another one that will fit Tink. Is there anything better than a cool new leash? I think not.

6) Daniel will hopefully have his green card soon, yay!

9 December, 2010

How nice of you to join us, or: Noodlehead continues feline tradition of being inconvenient.

Long-time gentle readers may recall that Noodlehead was the fourth adult cat I attempted to bring inside, the one who shook my confidence. I’d successfully brought in and placed three girls, all of whom were easy-peasy, so why would this stripey tabby and white girl be any different?

Hahahahaha.

When I brought Noodlehead into the bathroom, she commenced to attempt to climb the walls to find her way out. I managed to get her toweled and get her back outside, where she regarded me with deep and unpleasant suspicion for the next two weeks before giving birth to a couple stillborn kittens. Sigh.

In the long months since that abortive attempt, though, Noodlehead has been more and more interested in the inside of the house, especially as the weather has gotten colder. She’s also gotten more and more sociable, hanging around while we did chickenstuff and loitering outside the fence to watch us play fetch with Zille and chase with the Dobermans. She’s demanded petting, she’s asked to be picked up and snuggled.

Tonight, she finally walked into the house on her own power, and is now installed in the bathroom with a comfy bed, some wet food, water, and a litter box. Of course, Juniper WAS occupying the bathroom, because Emmaline wants him dead. Juniper is now occupying our bedroom. This is going to cause entertainment at bedtime, as Tink and Roo are accustomed to occupying the bedroom and having the door closed may cause Drama. We’ll figure something out. But at this point, there is officially No Room At The Inn.

I suspect there is little chance of placing Noodlehead, but I may be wrong. She is charming as hell but very much wants things on HER terms, and she is fairly nondescript in looks. The world is full of nondescript tabby-and-white cats with attitude. It may be that we now have five cats. I’m kind of OK with that, although, y’know, if you look at the little stripey face on the right and think to yourself “Self, that is exactly the cat I have been searching for!” then hit me up, yeah? She is going to get vetted and spayed before she goes anywhere, though.

8 December, 2010

More info on Juniper, World’s Most Laid-Back Kitten

Juniper went to the vet yesterday for his check up/initial vetting. I am pleased to say that he is FIV and FeLV negative, which clears him for a potential home with other cats! He is also now free of fleas and has been dewormed, as well as receiving his first FVCRP shot. He goes back on the 28th for the booster and we’ll schedule his neuter then, the vet felt that he was only 10 weeks old and thus too young to get his rabies vax or a quick neutering. He weighs about four pounds.

Thus cleared for interaction with the Usual Suspects, I brought him out to spend some time on the futon last night. He was Not Impressed with the dogs. In fact, faced with dogs he achieved such a phenomenal growl from his tiny frame that he established a three foot Canine Exclusion Zone around himself. My dogs are used to much larger cats than tiny Juniper, and were not about to poke their sensitive noses at a cat who was indicating so clearly that he would bite them off, even if he is tiny.

With cats he was much, much better. Roo sniffed him all over, established that he was not a snack, and then went about his business. Juniper did not react, except to politely touch noses. Aida jumped up, and they politely touched noses, and then she hissed in his face. He did not react. Aida was confused. They repeated everything, from nose-touch to hiss, and Juniper still didn’t react. Aida grumbled and went on her way. Emmaline took one look at him and said “Oh hell no I don’t do kittens” and retreated to watch him disapprovingly from the back of the Cat Chair. The only time Juniper showed any cat-oriented hostility was when Braxton Bragg snuck up behind him and patted his butt to see if he would do something interesting; that got a little growl that sent the dogs into whimpering panic.

Gentle reader, you have not lived until you have seen your 75 pound German Shedder and your 75 pound male Doberman reduced to whimpering and clinging to their Daddy because a 4 pound kitten growled, seriously.

Juniper will get more socialization time over the coming days, we’re hoping to work on the growling at dogs thing because, well, it’s too pathetic to see the dogs like that. But he’s doing quite well, and I think we’re on track to have him in a new home come January!

3 December, 2010

Juniper: world’s most laid-back kitten.

Someone seriously needs this kitten, for reals. Before I get to the pics, here is the Official Kitten-Pimping Information:
Juniper (named for Juniperus virginiana, the Virginia cedar tree) goes to the vet on Tuesday, where he will get a check-up, tested for FIV and FeLV, a guess at his age, and then his rabies/distemper vax. We will then schedule his neutering! After neutering, he will be available to a good home, with the following provisos:

1) He always has a place here. If the new owner cannot keep him for any reason, I will not ask questions, I will not judge, I will not grouse on my blog. I will just come get the cat and bring him back to the Manor.

2) I will drive up to four hours from Fredericksburg, VA to put him in a new home. This covers most of the state of Virginia, a good chunk of Maryland, a good chunk of West Virginia, and even goes as far as Gettysburg, PA (I take the back roads to avoid I-95).

3) He must be an indoor kitty. Juniper has lived the outdoor life and now deserves to be safe in a climate-controlled environment.

4) No declawing. It’s mean. Just no.

5) Yes, it is December. Yes, he is adorable. But you know what? Surprise kittens make crap Christmas gifts, y’all. Therefore I will need to be in contact with the actual person with whom young master Juniper will be living. I do not care how well you know your friend/roomie/spouse/partner/parent/sibling/dentist. Juniper is not a Christmas present.

6) As of right now I have no idea how he does with other critters, because he’s still in quarantine. Look for more info after his check-up and FIV/FeLV testing!

And now…ON TO THE KITTEN PICTURES! Because that’s what you wanted anyway, right? Proof that Juniper is the World’s Most Laid Back Kitten.

Juniper, a black and white kitten, lays upside down on the hands and forearms of a woman.  His eyes are open and looking at something off camera.  He is not panicking, but is totally relaxed.  If there were a soundtrack, you would hear purr.  It is the most adorable thing ever.

Juniper, still on his back, looks up at the woman holding him, his adorable leetle white paws spread wide as if he is telling her he caught a fish and it was THIS BIG.

Juniper, STILL on his back, has stretched his front paws out in what would be a creditable SUPER KITTEN pose if he were not, y'know, upside down and purring.

How cute is that, seriously? Just LOOK at this little fella. Someone out there needs this kitten to make their life complete, I know it. All we have to do now is get the word out! If you can’t take him, can you post him up on Twitter, your blog, Facebook, anywhere?

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