Best Cat Video Ever

At least for THIS week.  I haven’t figured out how to embed a video in my blog yet (the last time I tried, the formatting went ALL to hell in handbasket), so please click on the link here.  This is for all my non-Facebook pals (although this will be shunted over to Facebook too, so those of you who saw my link there can ignore this).  Jack, I think you will be especially amused…

Just a quickee…

…I’m on a grueling (yet exhilarating) deadline and have been writing my butt off (yup, looks like it’s shrunk a bit!) all last week into my lovely long weekend.  Can’t say much more right now other than zombies are involved.  So you KNOW I’m having a blast!  The kitties have been a great help by keeping their rampaging down to a minimum, so I’m posting the picture below in their honor. 

See you all later, and definitely look for Ravenous Wednesday at Un:Bound this week!

Rogue Rescue

You might notice a new button on the sidebar of my blog page.  A yellow “Donate” button. Or you might not have noticed it till I pointed it out.  Either way, it’s there!

The purpose behind this button is to raise money to neuter/spay rescue felines, most of them taken out of shelters such as King’s County in Fresno before they’re euthanized. Sadly, local shelters have recently changed their policies so they won’t do the low cost spay/neuters for the public for kittens under 4 months old.  This creates a huge problem as the rescue shelters won’t take the kittens unless they’re fixed.  This means we have to go through private vet hospitals, which charge a helty fee: $100-$200 or more, depending on gender.

For our friend and fellow feline rescuer (think Harriet Tubman, except with kitties) Mo, this means she is currently stuck with five kittens and their mother in her bathroom because the mother cat is so protective, she attacks any other animals she sees (including Mo’s very gentle dog).  Her other ‘quarantine’ room is currently occupied with teenagers we’re trying to find homes for.

We work with organized non-profit rescues, but do not belong to them ourselves. We’re looking into getting non-profit status, but it takes a while and given the glut of cats and kittens currently in shelters, with constant distress calls for help from the people running them, we don’t have time to wait.  M has spent thousands of dollars of her own money on medical care and spay/neuters for countless felines when the promised help from rescue groups (also overwhelmed) fell through.  We can get these kittens to a no-kill adoption center when they’re fixed, but we’re looking at $1,000 minimum to get all five kittens done.  The other option is to have them in M’s bathroom for another two and a half months, which reduces the odds of getting them adopted. Most people want, as our friend Aldyth puts it, ‘little bitties.’  We are also, btw, actively looking for good homes with people we know will get the babies fixed and be responsible parents!

In the meantime, we’ve set up a PayPal donation button on my account specifically to fund getting this batch of kittens fixed.  If anyone is inclined to give us grief because we are not an official non-profit, please remember it’s people like us (especially M!) that shoulder much of the time, responsibility, and money for rescue animals when the groups are full up or run out of money.  We also take on the grief when kittens who come to us ill from their short time in the shelters end up dying, despite our best care.

I’ve attached pictures of the kids and their mom (who is being spayed this Wednesday).  The white one is Mugatu.  Points to anyone who knows where the name comes from!  If you are in the Bay Area and know of anyone looking to adopt or even foster, please send them my way! Or, if you know someone who can spare a few dollars for a good cause and you can vouch for my integrity, it would be greatly appreciated!

Sunny Monday

It’s GORGEOUS outside today.  Sunny, warm and quite Southern Californian in its balmy breeze.  Definitely a change from San Francisco’s usual June Gloom and fog shrouded hills.  Not that I’m complaining about the fog.  It is one of the reasons I moved up here.  But I do admit a little sun now and again is welcome.  It’s nice to get some color and remember what it was like when I had my perpetual golden tan.  Ah, the blissful ignorance of youth…

I had a great weekend.  Twilight Tour at EFBC/FCC (to read more about it, go here for my post at Fatal Foodies); wine and snackage (Seeduction bread, olive oil, uber rich cheese and wine) with my sister; a gorgeous drive back up the coast early Sunday morning; and then a full afternoon at home, including beach walkies, writing and getting the laundry done.  I honestly can’t (and won’t) complain!  

Ooh, and thanks to my relentless walking and new love affair with my pedometer (I’m average 12,000 steps a day), I have lost enough weight to fit into some really nice summer pants my sister gave me.  And…yes…I do believe…yes, my waist is slowly but surely returning!  

I am in a very good mood, especially for a Monday. 

I raised this cat…

Ned picking out the wineYou can tell ’cause he’s picking out the wine.

This is Ned, the cat formerly known as Wookie.  He is Haggis’s and Taz’s brother.  If you go on my website and look at the picture under ‘drop me a line,’ you’ll see Ned with Taz and Angel (now called River after the cute but crazy gal on FIREFLY) helping me edit my book. Ned went to live with our friend Matt, proud father of Mitch, another plumpalicious black feline.  The two of them became best buddies (or domestic partners, as Matt calls them) and it’s now difficult to tell them apart.

This is the upside of fostering.

The downside is when you lose them.  The kittens and Mom Cat we’re fostering now came to us with upper respiratory problems and eye infections, compromised immune systems.  We lost little Gabriel a couple weeks ago to pneumonia…and last night we lost Gorilla, the little tortie, to the same thing.  Matt sent me pictures of Ned to cheer me up, reminding me that a lot of the times the fostering story has a happy ending.  He’s right.  This is why we keep doing it despite the heartache.

But I am officially ready for Bastet to stop repossessing her children before their time.

Ah…Daylight Savings ALL gone…

I don’t know about you, but I am SO glad Daylight Savings is over.  Saturday we set the clocks back an hour, which meant when I looked at the clock Sunday morning and it said 8:00am, it was now really 7:00am, which meant I could quite easily justify snuggling back under the covers with assorted felines and snoozling for another hour.  Sunday seemed to stretch on forever, in the best possible way, with time to walk on the beach in the fog, hang up laundry, do yoga, play with Momma Cat and kittens, and write a lot.   It was a very good day.

Another perk to the end of Daylight Savings is I wake up to the sight of the sun peeking up from the horizon instead of pitch black.  By the time I leave for work, it’s light out.  Well, today it wasn’t exactly light ’cause we’re having rain storms, but you know what I mean…  It’s just so much easier facing a job when it’s light out when I leave the house.  Sure, it’s darker earlier in the evenings, but I can still catch the sunset if I leave work at 4:00.

It really doesn’t take a lot to make me happy.  🙂

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween

I survived the week and am alive.  ALIVE!!!  Picture Dr. Frankenstein standing over me screaming, “It’s alive!” and you have the right idea.  It’s Friday and while I have a busy day at work, it’s an unpacking/sorting/organizing sort of day, which is just the thing when you don’t want to have to think too hard.  We also have a massage therapist coming today as a treat for the team and I have a half hour massage after all of this lugging/sorting/etc.  Sweet!

And today, of course, is my favorite holiday, Halloween.  And tonight our friends Aldyth, Brad and Maureen are coming over to watch scary movies (well, Zombie Strippers may not be scary, but it should be entertaining and hey…zombies!) and hand out candy if we have any trick-or-treaters.  I’m making jack-o-lantern shaped pasta and we have Zombie Zinfandel to serve with it.  Works for me!

We don’t get a lot of trick-or-treaters in our neighborhood, which is a shame. It’s mainly families so I would think they’d be out and about, but for whatever reason our street is devoid of them.  Bums me out because I love looking at all the adorable little rugrats in their costumes.  Nothing cuter than a butterball toddler bundled up in a furry lion or ladybug costume.  My brain melts when I see them, just the same way it melts when I look at kittens. 

In Glendale, Brian and I used to have mobs of trick-or-treaters.  We’d decorate the front porch, Brian would wear costumes and lurk in the shadows to give the kids a good scare (the teenagers trying to be tough cracked me up; hard to be tough after you’ve screamed like a five year old girl), and we’d play Night of the Living Dead loudly in the living room.  My new Halloweens in San Francisco are different and it took me a while to reconcile myself to the changes, but this year promises to be a good one. 

My favorite Halloween, though, was the year Beezle showed up.  Halloween of 1996.  Brian finished carving the jack-o-lantern into a grinning cat face, set it out on the porch and lit the candle.  I heard a loud ‘Doh!!’ and went outside to see what happened.  Brian pointed to the bottom of the porch stairs.  I looked and saw the tips of little black ears, then big gold eyes followed by nose, whiskers and the rest of a tiny black kitten.  The brain melting commenced as the kitten crawled up the steps straight to my feet.  I scooped him up and Brian said, ‘well, hey there, little Beelzebuddy!’  He started purring and that is how Beezle came into my life.  I have a pictures somewhere of him sitting in the jack-o-lantern after we took the candle out looking as cute as any Halloween card kitten; I wish I had it to post here today.

Beezle is now a grumpy 12 year old alpha male, but still his mother’s little darling. And still the best Halloween present a gal could ask for.  And because I got such a good present for Halloween, I’m gonna share one with you as well – as part of the Fatal Foodies Halloween Trick-or-Treat event, if you leave a comment at my blog from today through November 8th, you will be entered to win a copy of Murder for Hire: The Peruvian Pigeon.  Be sure to go to Fatal Foodies as well as other members are doing the same thing!  You’ll find links to their blogs at Fatal Foodies, which is a very cool blog all on its own!  Also be sure to go to my friend Marvin’s blog and check out his Halloween story, based on five silly elements I gave him.  I’ll let you go over there to check out what I did to him.  Heh.  AND check out Make Mine Mystery for Free for all Friday fun!

Happy Halloween from me and Beezle! 

Introducing Butterscotch and her family

This is Butterscotch and her newborn kittens.  We got a call yesterday for emergency feline fostering.  If they couldn’t find fosters, this lovely baby and her kittens, plus others, would be euthanized.  We agreed to take Butterscotch (my name for her) and the babies, figuring Momma Cat would do all the work.  No bottle feeding every three hours, just feed Momma and make sure things are kept clean and neat.  No bottle feeding means less chance of the uber bonding that always happens when I feed the babies every few hours and they look at me as their mom.   Butterscotch, on the other hand, is about as sweet and loving as a rescue cat could be.  We have them in a warm, cozy cage in the garage (the warmest room in our house).  It’s kept shut so Butterscotch won’t up and move the kittens to some nook or cranny where we can’t get to them.  But I’ve already let her out to roam a few times (supervised) and it’s so cute to watch – she’ll come out and let me pet her, then go back into the kittens.  Then back out again for pets and a little exploration…then back in.  She went to the far end of the garage for a bit; I called to her and she came trotting back, tail and ears perked up, straight to me.


We have them until the kittens are old enough to adopt (two months).  Then they go up for adoption via the cat rescue organization involved.  They are supposed to pay for all vet bills in the interim.  My only caveat is if the cats are supposed to go into a shelter environment during the adoption procedure.  I can’t stand the thought of giving them love and a comfy place and a place to play (we’ll be moving them when the kittens are old enough to start playing and need more room) only to back into steel cages full time.  So we’ll see.

But in the meantime, all of the fun of watching kittens and none of the work of bottle-feeding!