Monthly Archives: September 2010

Kitten Emergency Day

Last night, I went out to say good night to Harry, and I heard a kitten in distress.  It wasn’t one of the four new ones.  It was on the other side of the wooden fence between the fence and the neighbor’s old shed.  I couldn’t see anything even after I got the flashlight.  I kept calling it, but to no avail.

This morning as soon as I went out the back door, the same kitten started crying again.  This time I could see it wedged between the fence and a pipe.  I pulled the little guy out and freaked out.  The poor kitten was shivering and its eyes were caked over.  I shifted the inside pups and cats around and got the kitten into a crate in my bathroom.  I had nothing but powered milk, so I fed it some with a syringe after cleaning its eyes.  (I warmed it in the microwave.)  I put a warm binkie in the crate and hurried off to work.

Since I had a class at 9:00 and the SPCA didn’t open until then, Roberto called them for me.  It was a no-go.  The kitten had to weigh 2 lbs.  Same thing with our vet.  Before class, I ran around asking if anyone knew someone with a nursing mother cat and I got nothing.  However, one teacher who had helped me place one of the April Fool’s Day kittens said she would call her vet if needed.

By 10:00 Roberto had reported back the disappointing news, and then I told my colleague.  She called her vet and in ten minutes had a name and number for me.  There is a woman who takes in orphan kittens.  I called her and pled the kitten’s case.  She said she would call another woman who had nursing mom cats and get back to me.  By  11:45 she hadn’t heard back, but she said if the kitten was still alive to bring it.

My last class went by like molasses.  I even told my students why I was so anxious.  (They asked.)

Finally 1:00 came and I rushed home.  The kitten was alive!  He was very sleepy.  He didn’t mind the car ride much.  He did cry a little bit.

It was easy to find the kind woman’s house.  She shook my extended hand when we met and patted it — a kind woman.  She took the kitten from me, declared him a boy and he promptly peed.  She took it in stride, swept us both into her house and proceeded to clean the little guy up.  She put some ointment in his eyes and then gave him a squirt of pink liquid vitamins, telling him he wouldn’t like it. She was right.  After he got a taste of it, he held his little head straight up and shook it with displeasure.

He then got his bottle while I got to meet his nine new kitten mates.  He’s now 10 of 10.  After he finished, I helped move the 10 kitten to their crate full of things to climb on and play with.  A couple of the kittens went to dig in the litter box and before long, the new boy was at the bottom of a big kitten pile.

We talked for a bit, and then I had to get back to work.  I’m hopeful he will survive.

When I got home, all of the kittens were waiting for me.  While they were eating, I took a closer look between the slats of the fence, and sure enough, there were three more tiny kittens sleeping in a tiny pile.

But who is the mom?

Patience.

I had always thought one of the kittens looked slightly — ever so slightly — bigger than the other three.  I waited.  And waited.  And then she slipped under the fence to the other side and I watched her go straight to the little pile of kittens.

Apparently, the little one I found this morning had slipped down from their precarious perch on the junk between the fence and the neighbor’s storage shed and perhaps either mom couldn’t get him out, or being so young, didn’t know to.

I will have to talk to my neighbor and get the kittens to a safe place.  I’ll have to be careful.  It’s imperative that I figure this out and do it right.  Mom kitten is just too small and this is clearly her second litter in a very short period of time.

Another Fat White Man Joins the Pissing Contest

Well, now that Cory is hiding and Rorschach is afraid of me, Kevin Whited has decided to use another local area blogger to piss all over my blog.  Does this look like a fire hydrant to you?

Perhaps.

I post pictures of kittens and vegetables and flowers and pups harassing turtles, but the minute I have an opinion and maybe link to some people acting badly, Kevin Whited decides that it is just beyond him to comment on this little blog and instead sics another of his buddies on this little no advertising, no linking blog.

Kevin, you used to know how to comment on here.  Wait — you are just trying to make your friends money through clicks.  It’s just wingnut welfare.

I may be slow, but I get it.  :P

For anyone looking for context, I can’t help you.  I think my blog serves a purpose at times for the local GOP.  It comes and goes, but we soldier on!

A Blast from the Past

I’ve always loved games.  Board games — especially Monopoly, where I learned to cheat.  Card games — especially Spades — I have so many memories of playing that — with two decks! — with my extended family.  My family also played a game called Demon.  It’s like group solitaire on crack — before crack existed.

Like many families, we had Pong when I was a girl, and when I left home one of my neighbors in the small Montrose apartment complex had a computer.  This was a big deal, as it was in the early 1980′s.  My neighbor had a game loaded on his computer.  It was JUMPMAN.  I LOVED JUMPMAN.  My neighbor thought I loved him, but I didn’t.  I LOVED JUMPMAN.  I worried more about JUMPMAN surviving hurricane Alicia than I did my neighbor.  I know that is vile.  But it’s true.

My neighbor and I stayed friends for a while after he got rich and bought a house in the heights.  We didn’t play JUMPMAN much anymore, but I did house sit for him a couple of times.  One time I will never forget:  while on the way to his house, with my clothes for the weekend and my goldfish, I had a flat tire at the intersection of Studewood and I10.  I was a little informal back then and was just wearing shorts and a tube top and no shoes.  I was also a little trusting:  my spare was flat and I knew it, but I kept driving my car.

With no spare and very little money (poor student!)  I started walking to a nearby gas station on the other side of the freeway.  I met a group of three people — two male and one female.  They wanted to “help” me.  I told them I was ok, but they followed me to the gas station, where I used my little bit of money to buy one of those cans of fix-a-flat.  While walking back under the freeway, one of them put what I thought (and felt like) a gun to my back and demanded my barefoot, tube top, short wearing no spare ass’s money.

Well, I told them I had just spent what I had at the gas station and offered them the fix-a-flat just when some random guy pulled up in a very nice car and acted like he knew me.  The guy explained to me that his wife was in a car ahead of him and she was on her way home and did I need help.  (Remember this was 1984 or 1985).

The three with whatever it was decided to leave, since my new old friend insisted that he had everything under control.  Once they had left, we introduced ourselves, the guy loaded my flat into his car, he drove to a full service gas station and he paid to get it fixed and then took me back to my car, where we got everything back in good working order, and then we drove over to an ice house (I think it’s still there) on White Oak and had a few beers.

There is that saying that a conservative is a liberal who has been mugged.  While I wasn’t actually literally mugged that night, perhaps there is no sense to the saying.  I have been mugged exactly three times since that (and I didn’t lie about any of it ever, unlike you know who).

Oh my, I have digressed.

This is my newest most favorite game:  Altshift.  It’s a lot like jumpman, my long lost hero, and so I like it very much.

Michale Berry off by a Few Thousand When it Comes to Gulf Moratorium

I’m not interested in digging through Berry’s screaming about the drilling moratorium in the Gulf, but if you doubt that he has been claiming that thousands of jobs have been lost, then knock yourself out on his podcast page.

The funny thing is that he hasn’t talked about it since early August, and there’s a reason why:

Fewer people than expected have applied for money from a $100 million fund BP PLC set up to help deepwater rig workers after a federal moratorium on drilling prompted by the massive oil spill.

With nine days left to apply, a spokesman for the charity running the program told The Associated Press on Tuesday that only 356 people have come forward. Up to 9,000 people had been expected to seek grants of $3,000 to $30,000.

The charity said many rig workers are being kept on the job by their employers, despite the moratorium.

Grants were expected to be limited to those who worked on the 33 rigs affected by the moratorium. But with so much money apparently left over, the charity plans to offer a second round of grants — this time to workers who support the deepwater rigs, such as people on supply boats and pilots who provide helicopter transportation to rigs.

356?  356?  That’s it?

Yes.

Just so you know, if you didn’t before, Michale Berry is in it for Michale Berry.  That’s all.  He’s not in it for rig workers or the Gulf coast or even for tea baggers (remember the Glenn Beck/Pat Grey takeout of Debra Medina).

Still Trying to Suppress Votes in Harris County

A few months ago, Leo Vasquez, outgoing GOP, County Tax Assessor and Collect — voter registrar, got on the local wingnut radio stations, KPRC and KTRH to whine about people turning in bad voter registration forms.  It appears that wing nut extraordinaire Catherine Engelbrecht (she’s a tenther, fake patriot etc.) and friends are more than a little worried about the November 2010 election and decided to start attacking Houston Votes — I guess since ACORN isn’t around to kick anymore.

I bring this up today because I noticed this item on memeorandum.  The title says it’s an AP story, but it’s not:  It’s just nonsense from Fox News.  (FYI:  memeorandum is a wingnut link aggregator)  The Fox story is even sloppy enough to include a random “voter” photo, which of course is of an African American, but wasn’t taken anywhere in Harris County, much less Texas — we don’t use those types of voting machines and never have in the 30 years that I have been voting.  Idiots.

Here’s more of the back story:

Paul Bettencourt had been the longtime Tax Assessor/collector and had for years been cleansing the voter roles and slow walking new registrations, like any good GOP vote-suppressor.  After winning in 2008 (and settling a lawsuit brought against him and his office), he decided to quit.  The GOP thought they would get a two-fer by appointing a Latino to the office, Leo Vasquez.  Well, poor old Leo got primaried earlier this spring and lost to Don Sumners, a self-proclaimed “tea bagger before teabagging was cool” who stated on an edition of Red, White and Blue:

I’ve been, not actively, but somewhat, involved on the East Side and knew a lot of the Hispanic I guess you would call King Makers or leaders from the East Side and I don’t have a problem with their agenda except for trying to get benefits that may not have been earned.

Then came along the old time GOP activists turn teabaggers, Catherine  Engelbrecht and friends.  The Texas Democratic Party has sued Leo Vasquez for once again sharing information with Engelbrecht and her friends while not sharing the same with the TDP.

It all stinks, but is not surprising.  Republicans want to reduce the voter pool in anyway they can — because it helps them win elections.  Just look at how much importance they give to dinky little races in Alaska and Delaware.

Hopefully, Diane Trautman will win and get the office straightened out.  It will take a lot of work after Bettencourt and Vasquez.

Fall Crop is Go!

I’ve learned a lot since we put in the first raised bed earlier this spring.  I learned not to be afraid of all of the insects in my yard — which is something for someone who could die from a bee sting or a wasp bite. I have had hand to hand combat against fire ants and won most of the battles.  I have learned to live with all of the crazy flying wasps and bugs in my garden.  The dragon flies have been here for a while, as well as he lone assassin bug.  I hate stink bugs and their progeny and kill them with my own hands!  I am GARDENER LADY!!!!!

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Kittens!

So, the new crew is slowly moving in.  I haven’t quite gotten a handle on exactly how many there are, but this evening, I decided to let the anthropologist in me take over.  What follows are pics from this morning and when I fed them this evening.  (Next post will be garden pics.)

They all look alike to me!

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I Think I’ll Pickle Tomorrow

I’ve got enough okra and enough jalapenos to make a couple of jars.  If I have some of the pickling mixture left over — I will save it.

I also hope to get up some pics of the beds along with some plans for their futures.  The cucumbers are coming up fine.  The sweet peas aren’t growing much — I may have waited to late to plant them.  The new squash is so far so good.

I also need to take some pics of the new little brood of kittens that have moved in.

And lastly a plea for Roberto’s help:  Remember your great idea for the name of the new blog I want to start about where things are made?  Could you help me with the correct French?   I’d like to get it started this weekend, if possible.

Oh, and I gave Bill White some money today.  I tried to contribute to Kendrick Meek, but couldn’t get his site to load.  I’ll try again now.  It worked!

No Rest for the Weary

The September squash is in the last bed in the backyard — R and I built it on Sunday.  I’ve done a bit more research, and by planting them in September and using aluminum foil as a mulch (later wrapping the stems with it), I may avoid the squash vine borers that killed my spring and summer attempts.  I also filled a yellow bowl with water, which is supposed to attract and drown the moths whose borer larvae have so plagued my garden.

In the last two days, I’ve hosted a total of four feral kittens at dinner and sometimes breakfast, in addition to Big Guy and Harry.  Three are tuxedo patterned and one is a Turkish Van.  The three tuxedo kittens are all different sizes (all small, no doubt): the smallest has the cutest white spots on his toes.  The largest I’m guessing is mom.  The Turkish Van is the most timid and waits for all the rest to eat before venturing in to eat a bite.  Harry and Big Guy are so focused on the wet food in the evenings that there have been no problems.

One wish of mine came true this evening.  I had thought that I would never get to touch Big Guy unless I found him dead, but tonight, I got to gently brush his tail while he was eating wet food.  I even did it twice.  While I won’t try to get him to let me hold him (like I did with Harry — Big Guy is too old), I will take advantage of his distraction from now on.   I had been worried that he might “bite the hand that feeds him,” but he has turned out to be a much smarter kitten than that.  He never swats at me when I’m trying to put the wet food in a bowl for him (I had worried about that), and he doesn’t swat or growl at Harry when I am not quick enough in dispensing the food.  It’s been a relief and a joy.  It’s a particular joy to see Big Guy cleaning himself on the deck for an hour or two after dinner.  He’s actually looked a little better these past two days — not so much dirt in the drool on his chin.  I think that perhaps his teeth hurt him too much to crunch the dry food and he had been slowly starving.

There haven’t been any cat fights  — perhaps it’s because Junebug is gone, though I hate to think that is true.  I still chase off UnPopular Kitten though he seems to get along with all of the new ferals and neither Harry nor Big Guy have fought with him.

Perhaps Junebug was a threat.  I don’t know.  I also don’t know why she just didn’t come into the house through the passage into the utility room as shw had while it was freezing this spring.  Perhaps I am reading too much into all of this.  Perhaps she was older than I thought — she was grown when she first showed up.  Whatever the reason, I have now given up on her coming back.  And while Harry is a good gardening kitten, I will forever associate Junebug with the garden and spring and working with the plants.  She was always around and interested in what I was doing.

I miss Junebug.

I Need to Put Something Up

It’s been a long week.  I had hoped to post some pictures today, but I just enjoyed the outside kittens instead — and worked in the garden.

Big Guy (formerly known as SGWK) has taken to eating wet food for dinner.  He does fight with himself an awful lot.  I thought about filming him.  I can’t help him.  He is the old man of wild kittens.

I worried that Harry would be the recipient of Big Guy’s aggression, but that has not been true.  Big Guy tolerates Harry and even the three little kittens who still come around.

In the end, the only fighting is Big Guy with his own mouth.  I think it is difficult for him to eat.   Maybe it’s his teeth; maybe it’s his health.  I still think that the only time I will have the chance to pet him will be when he is dead.

There are three little kittens that I need to trap.  I think I could do it after big guy and Harry have had their wet food.   The bigger problem is finding their mom.  I think I saw her today, and if I am right, she is pregnant again.

I may need to talk to my second over neighbor — the kittens seem to come from there.  I don’t know.

I’ve planted cucumbers and sweat peas.  I hope they make.  The okra is producing slowly but surely, and my fight against the ants that have tried to destroy all my okra continues.

There were fewer stink bugs on the tomatoes and the plants have pushed through for a third round, so perhaps letting nature take over will work out now or next year.

Tomorrow, the front yard!!!!