Wednesday, March 18, 2015

It's not Spring, it's "Combing Season"

I don't know what happened to all my cat combs. I guess the Comb Gremlin ate them, and I have three long-hair cats who require combing, in additional to the short-furred ones. I stopped by the Big Box pet stores, and all they had was crap for combs for dogs and cats. I hope it's just that they were out, because cute pink combs and brushes with short plastic-tipped bristles are not going to do much more than give a cat a massage. So Amazon, here we come.

My veterinarian had this style at their office (in a more professional model) and it worked great of Grayson when he was there, so I picked up three. I'll shop for short-hair combs later.

Seven says "hi" again from Connecticut:

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Mew (formerly Elsa, one of our two blind adoptees) checks in!

Elsa (now Mew) was the second blind cat that came into our care. Debra, from Waverly, rescued her (and also rescued little Oliver and a number of of other cats at The Owl House). Mew's housemates are bunnies! I need to ask for a Mew-and-house bunny photo! Here is video of Elsa when she first arrived here.

Elsa has a wonderful home north of Cortland. They will be visiting today, possibly to adopt another cat, although our numbers are pretty low at the moment, with only nine cats available, and some of those quite shy.

Look who is in the house

Fluffy (16-18 years old) and Pickles (14 years old) have moved into the house. Catching Pickles was a bit of an adventure, which ultimately involved a pillowcase, but they are both in the upstairs back bedroom. Then I'll let them into the whole upstairs, and then into the downstairs.

At 2am, Fluffy started howling. When I went up to visit them, he was by the door, asking to be let out. I can't imagine what is going through his mind after spending nearly all his life in the cat facility where he was king. I hope he likes it here.

Heidi and Lucy have moved from their run into the cat room, and Valentina and Robin moved from the house to the cat room as well. Valentina is in a cage in that room because Heidi was affronted by her presence, and poor Robin is putting up with the glares and hisses with fairly good spirits.

Previous Fluffy posts can be found here and here.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Jack and the Leewit check in!

Jack and the Leewit's guardians are amazing supporters of The Owl House. I always love when we receive photos of these two, because it is always clear that they are in charge of the household...and very loved. They always find such interesting places to show their charm.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Dusty is adopted. Is your head spinning yet?

Yet another cat has been adopted! Dusty was quite happy to leave my company and move in with Jake, her new guardian. I had been dosing her twice daily with Clavomox, not to mention her pre-adoption vet visit, pre-adoption worming, and regular monthly Revolution application. Can you blame her for being somewhat pleased to leave my company?

I think she'll be just fine. Of course, as with all of our cats, she is on her two-week trial. Still, look what greeted me on the wall of her new home when I delivered her. Clearly we have a cat lover here. And a beautiful piece of cat furniture (our current "adoption fee") was there for her to explore.

AND her new guardian had printed off instructions on how to get my rescue email on my iPhone.

I will need to let Dusty's previous guardian know she has found a place!

She loves this guy. She almost couldn't wait to see me go.

Oh well...that's how we like it. Good luck, Dusty!

Here's Dusty in her previously "feral" life:

Monday, March 2, 2015

Dreaming of spring --- the planned farm stand

Yes, it is still winter here. But I am dreaming of spring.

I'm planning a veggie garden that is larger than last year, which means I will have too much produce for just myself. I've also been offered some year-old hens, so I'm going to have chickens again, which means there will be eggs to sell and give away. So I've decided to put a farm stand out front again. Some of you may remember that my last stand was actually stolen (yes, someone took the actual stand!). I think they thought it was being given away for free one day when I had produce out with a "free" sign on it.

I will stake the next one down.

In the "haymow" of my barn--which has no hay--is this old cabinet that I plan to lower down, clean up, repair, and paint. I'm going to use this for the stand. I can close it up at the end of the day. Produce can go in the drawers, which I can pull out part way to display them. I'll need to build a bit of a "roof" so it is protected from rain, and I'll need to make sure it's up off the ground so it doesn't rot.

Getting it down from they haymow will be a bit of an adventure. I may install the "roof" and include some heavy-duty hooks or something similar so I can lower it down by rope with some help. I always wonder about the history of some of the things I find on this farm. How long has this cabinet been here? Why is it in the haymow, for goodness sake?

In addition to veggies, I also plan to put out some crafts, also made with scavenged farm-stuff. I have a zillion windows and window frames in the barn as well. I was at an antique store and saw this idea for a card display/wall hanging made from an old window frame and chicken wire (which I also have a ton of):

So I made that one (above). I'll make a few more, some with the original worn paint, and some painted fresh, and then see if they actually sell before putting in the effort of making more. I also have smaller window frames I can use.

I don't expect I'll make much, but it's something that I can do with the extras I have around here. I'm off the beaten path so not a lot of people drive by. Once I have eggs, I'll put a sign out on Halsey Valley Road. One thing people will turn the corner for is farm eggs, and hopefully they will then purchase some of the produce.

Spring..oh, spring...please hurry along soon!

S-VE Community Showcase

Yesterday (Sunday) was the Spencer-Van Etten Community Fair. I woke to more snow falling, which was a bummer because of course the crowd would be thinner if the roads stayed slippery (and they did)

We weren't the only rescue there. Angel Eyes and New Beginning were both here with booths. Angel Eyes had these awesome fuzzy socks (and my family knows I love fuzzy socks) two pair for a dollar, so I spent $2 and have four sets to keep my toes toasty for the rest of this long, long winter.

I've gotten very tired of hanging a rolled-up banner in front of my table. It always has to be reverse-rolled to hang flat, and requires tape, and always sags despite my best intentions. So when VistaPrint rolled out one of their 50% off sales I purchased a new banner with a stand, and what an improvement that is! It takes up more room, but it's up at eye level, much easier to read, and much easier to put up and take down.

Poor Oliver didn't think much of the PA system used to announce raffle winners. I need to make sure next year I bring a bomb-proof cat or, if we don't have one, no cat at all. Having a cat really brings people over, but it is a pretty loud venue.

I put a padlock on his cage and covered him up for about 10 minutes so I could take a walkabout, and I found these teacups for five bucks. I am a coffee drinker (I love tea, but drink coffee more often) however most of the people who visit here are tea drinkers and I only have mugs to serve tea in. I've been watching for sturdy vintage tea cups for a long while. All I have found are very delicate cups which understandably don't fit my lifestyle (they wouldn't survive long). So now I have tea cups and saucers for my visitors! Come on over, tea drinkers!

I could have purchased four more for another five bucks, but the chances of me having eight people to tea are pretty much zero.

We received about $40 in donations which will just cover the office visit fee for Dusty's vet visit, so thank you to all the people who visited the booth!

Snagged from Facebook: Siggy and TigerTom snuggle

Stolen from Facebook: Siggy and TigerTom check in from Endicott

Saturday, February 28, 2015

More on Grayson --- FIV positive

I mentioned earlier than Grayson was chosen for adoption, pending his vet visit. We take all of our longer-term cats to our veterinarian for a pre-adoption check-up since we do offer as much of a guarantee as is possible that our cats are healthy, or health issues are known.

Corky and Grayson went in the same day. While waiting the 10 minutes for the combo test to run, I borrowed a comb and went at Grayson's gorgeous coat. He is a sweetheart about tolerating the fur-pulling involved and purred at the attention. I heard the beeper go off signalling that the test was done, in the other room, and then heard the veterinarian say: "What's that?" Then "Well, nothing is ever simple, is it."

Well, crap. Someone clearly had a positive test. First a kitten with one kidney, and now an FIV positive cat. I assumed it was FIV and not FeLV, because FeLV probably would have elicited a more strongly worded private reaction from the veterinarian. Sure enough, when she came in, it was to announce that Grayson was FIV positive.

FIV is not a death sentence by any means. It does mean the cat is more susceptible to illness and dental issues (Grayson has great teeth at this time). It is passed from cat to cat by bite wounds, so average contact with other cats is not much of a risk if the cats aren't fighters. It does mean the adopter needs to have the financial resources for regular vet exams, possible future dental care, and the emotional ability to accept that the cat might not live to an incredibly old age. So it's best to go into an FIV adoption with a little money in the bank and the fortitude to be vigilant.

I went ahead and had Grayson microchipped and vaccines boosted, because even if his current adoptable status changed, FIV cats often are adopted into homes that have other FIV cats (indeed, I've already had one inquiry on him from a home with an FIV cat). Our last FIV cat was here for three years. Luckily we get very few, since we handle mostly isolated rural colonies

Grayson was a grand big tom from the Fast Food Feral colony in the city of Ithaca, and was in fact stalking another male cat who I had already trapped when I first saw him. Grayson then went into a second trap I had set. He turned out to be friendly, so we kept him. It's no surprise his second test was positive.

We will have a Western blot test done when I have some extra money (it runs about $100, and probably more with the vet visit and blood draw) to be sure his regular test wasn't a false positive. Standard FIV tests can show positive for a variety of reasons.

Here is good page on FIV:

And here is the scary one from Cornell University:

Grayson is back here and is his normal sweet self. I'm keeping him with his usual bunk-mate, Fern, since they like one another but don't cuddle or co-groom, and of course he has never had access to any of the other cats, because they all get separate "liberty" time for precisely this reason.

Adoptions---still on a roll

I apparently have accidentally hit on marketing gold--although I have no clue what I have done. Two more cats were adopted-- Corky and Grayson (although more on Grayson later). Both adopters had already visited a large no-kill shelter in our general area, so I'm guessing our success may also have something to do with fewer cats available there.

Corky checks out his new digs

Update on Coyote (now Cody):
Coyote is doing fine! She is a really nice cat. She likes sleeping in the front bedroom, especially when the sun is shining through the window. She also spends time in the living room with Mom, and sometimes will sit on her lap. She loves being petted, and of course she loves her wet food!

Mom suspects that Coyote (now Cody) spends time on the kitchen table, but has only caught her once or twice. Cody has also gotten up on top of the refrigerator, so she's a curious cat. While she does hang around in the kitchen if Mom is out there,she doesn't get underfoot, so that is a very good thing. So it is all working out well! She's very good company for Mom.

Update on shy Bo and Davis:

They are doing beautifully!! I kept their names, they seem really fitting. Davis is still shy for the most part, but he does let me pet him on occasion, loves exploring the house. Bo is really affectionate, is right in my bed as soon as I wake up in the morning, trying to get me up for the day. I absolutely adore them.

And Brody's (now Luca) new home reports that "Basil and Luca are getting along great!" Looking back, I don't even see that I announced Brody's adoption here on the blog. Drat that Facebook! I keep forgetting to post things here!

I get regular notifications on Nueve (now Footnote) on Facebook, including a really cute video of her playing fetch. She's a lucky girl.

I still have to track down Octave's people to see how he is doing. So far, so good with our most recent adoptions!

More abandonment

I got a call from my neighbors across the gorge, who had adopted my barn cat Bullet (now Bandit) when he decided he liked their porch better than my barn. They saw a tiger tuxedo cat the other night. I told them I'd been seeing big tracks in my barn and put out a heated water bowl and food, and that I would set some traps.

Clearly whoever is out there knows what a door is. This greeted me when I got off the phone with her and went to do my morning chores:

Someone also posted on a Facebook page I watch, "Spencer Swap and Save" that someone had dumped a cat at her place a couple of miles from me. She posted a cute photo of a frosty little tuxedo youngster, and she said "If you abandoned this cat, you are a dick. If you lost him, he is here safe and warm" or something similar. Interestingly there were a few posts saying that cats and dogs are fine outdoors--that they "know how to find ways to stay warm"...which really surprised me in this day and age. That particular page (unlike others I've seen) is pretty polite, so even the people who called the original poster "harsh" for suggesting the cat was abandoned were doing so in a fairly polite way. Normally I keep my mouth closed on sites like that (although I've been known to rant on Craigslist) but I did speak up at that point about the many reports of cats frozen to the ice that are appearing on animal welfare Facebook pages. Then I thanked the page for being a great local resource (which it is) since I had taken it off-topic.

Here is the nearby abandoned cat if anyone local has lost him. He is not here, although I did offer to take him if the SPCAs are full.

The temps are supposed to rise a bit so I'll be setting traps this weekend for my visitor.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

What it is to be a TNR change agent

Note: This post was edited about an hour after originally being posted.
Note: I'm sure no one would ever guess I was once a copyeditor. Wow...the typos! Sorry...more edits.

I've joined a couple of Facebook groups on TNR. This is something I've tried to avoid doing because then my Facebook feed has even more cat stuff on it. However as we gear up to be something more than a one-person hit-or-miss rescue, it is helpful to see the questions that other rescuers are asking so I can be sure our resources answer those questions. I also would be living in old cardboard box if I don't take steps to see what new things people are coming up with.

All-in-all reading the pages has been a great help. The people running them are progressive and helpful. However I was---I don't know...I'm not sure of the word---shocked? Saddened? to find there are a very few, but very vocal "I know everything, I've done this longer than you and have caught more cats than you and you are WRONG if you don't agree with me" people out there attacking other people on the page---something I had previously seen in mainstream animal welfare/rights, but not-so-much in TNR.

(We break up this holier-than-thou post with a bit of cuteness brought to you by Oliver-the-one-kidney-kitten):

I hadn't seen that attitude in TNR before, because the people I deal with--even if they have different ways of doing things--are so happy just to be able to share our concern for outdoor cats that when we talk we are saying "I've found this can work" or "Wow, I'm awful with nets, how do you manage to do that?" or "that's incredible that you keep cats in crates rather than traps--do you have any problems with them escaping?"

Now--full disclosure--most cat people, including myself, do feel they do know the best way to do things. Like cats, we tend to be convinced of our own infallibility--until we make a serious mistake.

Yet, I know from my past experience that I can be wrong, or if not wrong, I have seen someone do something in a more-successful manner and have thought "Wow, I need to try that."

I have told quite a few people the following story, but I don't think I've told it on the blog. Some you new to the story will still immediately see what is coming. Others of you will be surprised:

I've had aquarium fish for quite a bit of my life. I also worked for a biology department where I cared for a fresh and saltwater aquarium room. I'm no aquarium expert but I have the basics down. I'm very partial to goldfish, which need lots of space and lots of oxygen, and it bothers me greatly that people who don't know this keep them in tiny bowls until they die after a year or less. These fish can live for decades when cared-for correctly. It really tweaks me that they are often given away as prizes at fairs. One year I had a booth at a local fair and kids kept walking up to my booth holding big goldfish in plastic bags which they had "won"at another booth. They had not received care instructions, just a fish in a bag. I gave every kid a long lecture about how much space the fish really needed, how to age the water or treat it before putting their fish in, and that they "should not just put their fish in water out of the tap or the fish will immediately die" due to chlorine.

A few parents kind of looked at my oddly, but I was being nice, not preachy, so they just nodded their heads. Usually the kids were alone, since it was an indoor fair, and they listened with fascination. One even went back and asked for a smaller fish, because all he had at home was a gallon bowl and his current "prize" fish was at least two inches long.

It was probably a month later when I was silently ranting about this whole issue in the privacy of my brain as I cleaned my own goldfish tank and was treating my water for chlorine tap water was well water, not municipal water. There was no chlorine in my water, or in the water of any of the kids I was speaking to at that fair. There had been no chlorine in my water for over a decade and I was still treating it as if it was chlorinated

I had grown up in areas with chlorine-treated water. My last country home had a water tower that was treated with chlorine because the local wells had been contaminated many years earlier during a flood. I had managed an aquarium room in a city with chlorinated water. But I had not had chlorine in my own water at my current home for over 15 years, and I was still treating the water! I had become so entrenched in my belief that "tap water was bad" that I was not even remotely open to the concept that some tap water (while there are still other concerns about it, such as ph) was probably NOT going to kill a goldfish out here in the country. I'm sure there were lots of puzzled parents who tried to get those poor fish out of bags and into something larger that they had filled with probably-safe tap water from their untreated well, and their kids were yelling "No, Mom! The lady at the cat booth said that would kill it!!!!"

If my sudden awareness of my stupidity had not been so incredibly illuminating, I probably would have been writhing on the floor in embarrassment. I hadn't just made an error---I'd been making the same error every week for a very long time! Instead I mentally pull this memory out whenever I feel like "Whoa...that person is wrong" so that I hopefully give what I might say out loud a second thought.

I am not always right. None of us are "always right." Things that are "right" in one instance might not be "right" for another. When we start preaching to people that "you are wrong and you are so wrong you are hurting animals" we need to be pretty certain that we are correct.

And even when we are certain our way is an improvement over the way we are criticizing, we need to be sure that we are offering our input in a manner that will be likely to convince the other person that our way has merit. Telling someone they are WRONG WRONG WRONG! is going to cause them to shut down and shut you away, and look for ways to fight back and say "No, I'm RIGHT!"...not listen and think "Hmmmm...maybe I could learn something here."

Grassroot activism is always so interesting to watch. When it starts out, people with diverse beliefs but with the same end goal get along really well. Then, as the movement gets bigger, "leaders" emerge who promote "best ways" to do things. This leads to division, and the larger group breaking up into smaller groups. Some people are fine with this and are happy to see the momentum moving inevitably toward the common goal, sort of like people of different races, religions, sexual orientation etc. working together toward a goal. We may get there differently, but we all want that one thing we are all working toward.

Breaking up into different groups can also lead to infighting, however. Effort that is put into saying "our way is the best way...your way will take too long!" can take away from the effort needed to reach that wonderful end goal. Sometimes it's better to just keep moving along the way you believe and leave the door open to those are going a different way.

There are also "Change Agents." Change agents are people who push the envelope and put themselves on the line to say something new and different that others in their group believe but are afraid to say. Or the change agent may have come up with an entirely new idea that is so different they are the only one saying it and they risk themselves to say it aloud. We need change agents to move forward more quickly, or we would just slog along toward change at a very slow pace. These people risk their reputation, their jobs, and in some cases even their lives, by speaking up.

There are also agents who also step forward, but they promote change not by justifying the actual good outcome of their own work, but by calling others who disagree with them evil or wrong. They gather supporters not by being an example of their own belief and by welcoming anyone who will stop to listen to them, but by saying "You don't want to be an evil-doer, do you? Then you should do as I say, because if you don't, you are evil."

Change Agent: Thank you for stopping to really listen to what I'm saying. People who really care will stay to listen. I hope if you walk away I've given you something you might use in the future. If you disagree, that won't stop me from continuing to speak. Those of you who are staying, let's change the world! Let's do it today! People will stand in our way because they have known only one way, are blinded by their own beliefs, or are under pressure from peers. It won't always be easy, but let's go!

Egoist: It's a good thing you are stopping to listen to me, because I am right! What I am suggesting is easy! I did it, and I say it was easy! And if you walk away, you are proving that you are an evil person because you will not make this easy change! You are giving me permission to call you wrong, publicly, because you will not agree with me! All people who stand in our way do so because they are inherently bad people. Those of you who agree with me, you must shun those who walk away!

Change Agents: I've thought about this a lot. I've made mistakes along the way. What I've done, and what I've seen others do, has brought me to this place. I want to teach you what I have learned. We may make more mistakes along the way, but I strongly believe this will change the world for the better.

Egoist: I know this because all good intelligent people would know this. I've made no mistakes following my beliefs. All you have to do is XYZ and you'll be just like me. You should want to be just like me and the people who believe in me. If you question me after I've shared this with you, then you are probably not a good intelligent person.

Most of the time, a person is a little of both-it's rare for a person to keep their ego out of the mix when they are stepping forward with something they feel strongly about. The question is: which way does the balance end up tipping, over all? Toward helping others, or toward promoting myself?

Am I speaking up to help others, or am I speaking up because I like to tell everyone else how right I am?

I have done both, frequently. I use the "delete" key a lot. It's not too hard to tell the difference if you are being mindful of what is coming out of your mouth or fingers. Still, it is very difficult to remain mindful every moment of every day. Especially when something ignites your disbelief or lots of kids with goldfish in plastic bags at a fair.

The trigger may be a just one. No animal should be given away as a prize in a contest to people unprepared to take care of that living being. But we (I!) need to be sure that what we respond with is accurate and helpful.

I think we all need to tattoo a reminder of one of our mistakes on the back of our hands, to remain mindful of just what "teaching" and "helping" really mean.

Therefore, if any of you see a tattoo of a goldfish on my hand any time in the future, you'll know exactly why it's there.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Oliver filters on a single cylinder--missing a kidney!

So we've been going full-throttle on adoptions lately. I'm not sure what's up. Is it the increased presence on Facebook? Replacing the adoption fee with the option of purchasing cat furniture for your new cat adopted from us? Referrals? Coyote, Nueve, Octave, Bo & Davis have recently been adopted (or are in the process of foster-to-adopt), Adison and Seneca were TNR'd, and the "coming in" numbers for once equal the "going out" numbers.

Of course there has to be an anomaly. Nothing can go completely smoothly. This month's anomaly is named Oliver.

Oliver was on hold with a couple who weren't certain if they wanted Oliver or Octave. They went home and thought on it and decided on Oliver if all went well with his neuter. And wouldn't it figure, with a home all set for him, something unusual would happen? The veterinarian noted that one kidney was enlarged, and the other could not be felt at all. His kidney function right now seems OK (blood test) but curiosity got the best of them and they took a radiograph to confirm (no charge to us, bless them). Sure enough, he was missing a kidney on the left. Now, an ultrasound would show more, but wouldn't change the situation. That made Oliver a wild card. He could be fine and live a grand old life. However he needs to have a kidney-thoughtful diet, and a regular check of his kidney function throughout his life. He also needs to go to a home where the adopter could accept that his life could possibly be shorter than normal, so he probably shouldn't be someone's one-and-only. Luckily he loves other cats and dogs, so there is no problem with him going to a home with other pets. The couple that had been uncertain who to adopt then decided Octave would be a better option for them, and I agree. This would be their first, and only, cat. To take on a cat who will be big step up as a financial obligation and just might quickly fall ill is tough for someone choosing their very first "own pet."

So Oliver will be hanging out here in the house until the right home comes along. He is no problem at all. He is quite friendly and affectionate, but is happy going off in the other room to snooze by himself. He does have a dangerous (smile) attraction to the twitching tails of Rose and Bear. Bear tolerates being treated like a cat toy. Rose is not so pleased, but that only makes her twitch her tail more violently, which draws even greater attention from Oliver. But after a hiss, he lays low. He is a wise little boy.

FeLV or FIV would have been a worse issue than firing on a single kidney cylinder. But gosh, just when everything was going so great, it's a bummer to have a great Unknown rear its head.

Friday night "toss and organize"

I have too much crap.

Let me rephrase. I have plenty of crap that serves a purpose, but I can never find the crap I need, when I need it. For example, I bought hardware for this buffet Valarie and Craig gave me. Can I find it now that I need it? I canNOT!

Nellie is having a joyous time exploring. You can be sure I am being a good girl and not swearing. Otherwise Nellie would be off hiding, as she is the most shy cat in the house. No, I am quietly simmering at my disorganization.

I have finally gotten fed up with it and have been picking away at my worst offenses. Number one on the list: cat records. You would think after almost 30 years of this I would have it all down, but the night before an adoption will still find me digging through the most recent pile of veterinary receipts searching for a rabies certificate. Ridiculous!

Things I have! Old worn out cat laser toys. I get them when they are on sale for a dollar. Will I really ever buy batteries that cost more than a new toy? Probably not. Out they go, after divesting them of their hazardous-waste battery innards.

So as I am pawing through drawers I'm finally: &$&%@#!!! Don't paw through them! Stop and deal with them! The buffet can wait. It's going to have to, isn't it, since I can't find the hardware.

What I can find:

More Post-It pads than anyone person should have. I work in a paperless office. Off they go to the "give away" box
VHS tapes on trapping feral cats. I gave away the VHS player to a neighbor who helped carry in the free bureau. All these are now available on YouTube. Out they go!
Two three-hole punches. Two? OK, one goes upstairs to that desk, and one will stay down here.
A DYMO label maker Mark gave me that has been out of label tape for six years. I check Amazon. Yes, the tape is still for sale. I put two in my Amazon cart and continue on.
Oh look. ANOTHER three-hole punch! A cheap one. Garbage.
Many flat mailing boxes and envelopes. I organize them in one spot.
A ziplock baggie of Ivan's combed out fur that I one day plan to send out to be made into this cute remembrance. I miss Ivan. Keep.
A Netflix DVD from back before the Kindle. Slumdog Millionaire. I've never watched it. I hold it out because now I have a DVD player and a donated secondhand flat-screen TV (thanks Cary!)
A twisty digital camera stand I've never used. I guess I'll put it with the defunct digital cameras because it won't work on the iPhone. Anyone need one?

No buffet hardware.

A number of weeks ago I got totally fed up with the fact that A) my cat records were scattered all over the house and B) I did not have a comprehensive email list and the holidays were looming. I wandered into Staples to find something attractive to keep current records front and center rather than shoved in a file cabinet. I found two boxes, but darn...they were ripped. Disappointed, I started to put them both back, then figured the rip on one of them was at the back, so I would take it anyway. At the checkout I showed the rip to the clerk and he said he'd give it to me for two bucks. I said "well, for that I wish I'd picked up the second one, which is in even worse shape." He immediately ran back got it, plunked in down and said "how's a penny? Otherwise we just have to throw it out." So for $2.01 I got two nice boxes that normally would have been $18.00. I never would have thought to dicker at Staples!

That's the kind of deal I like.

I've been lusting after a PassionPlanner but can't justify the cost for something I'm not sure I will use, so I used their free download to print off ten weeks to try and keep track of what I'm up to. Rose immediately sat on it.

I also went searching for a calendar after the New Year when they are dirt cheap. I get a lot of calendars from national animal welfare organizations, but they are usually small with not-so-much space to write. When I go looking for a calendar, so I look for cats and kittens? Wildlife. No. I look for....LARGE PRINT! Yes, I am over 50. My friend (and adopter!) Gretchen got me a beautiful leather wallet, which I loaded with postage, a few cards, and a tiny pretty writing pad, to take with me when I am traveling so I won't put off thank-you notes just because I am on the road.

Hey, I found the hardware! Where was it? In the catch-all baskets by the front door. Why were they there? I have no idea. I guess I'll go organize them next!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Send two young marimbists to Belgium--give them a dream.

Put this on and go about your day. Let it play in the background.

And then if you believe in helping to grant dreams, give a donation to send them to the Universal Marimba Competition in Brussels, Belgium

Check out their GoFundMe page here

We have quite a few donors and adopters in the music community. It is in the interest of all cats to promote music across the globe.

Yes, I honestly believe this!

Oliver in the house

This is our newest kitten Oliver. He already as a hold on him. Isn't he the sweetest?

He is not shy so much as very independent. He purrs up a storm when you pick him up, but he's happy go off in the other room and snooze all alone. I'm bribing him with treats, and he's starting to suck up to me a bit more. Such a cutie!