Friday, October 10, 2014

Wanta Funny-Looking Cat?

Thought for the day:  You can keep a dog; but it is the cat who keeps people, because cats find humans useful domestic animals. [George Mikis]

[image courtesy of Morguefile]
I don't know who that cute kitty in the picture is, but I think he's laughing at Smarticus and me, because the cats of the world have us right where they want us. They've got us well-trained, pegged as a couple ol' softies, and have been tweeting and re-tweeting their mews far and wide: Visit the Swiderski Cat Resort.

Believe it or not, that isn't necessarily a good thing. Sometime messages get intercepted, ya know.


This is Dot. She's kinda the alpha cat around here. (When Dash lets her.) If we hadn't named her at such a young age, we could have named her better. Something like Ethel. Or Tankerbelle. (Um, yeah, she's rather large. And clumsy.)

Cats can work out mathematically the exact place to sit that will cause the most inconvenience.  [Pam Brown]

This is Dash. A better name for her would have been Lucy or Tinkerbelle. Or maybe Dora the Explora. She's tiny, but incredibly fearless when it comes to climbing.

A cat can purr its way out of anything.  [Donna McCrohan]

These two have been in charge ever since we rescued them as teeny kittens five years ago.




And this is Daisy. Yep, she's still with us. This is the sweet little girl neighbors left behind when they moved away. She's nice and healthy now, and eats like a lumberjack. But alas, we still haven't successfully assimilated her into the house. For one thing, number one and number two divas haven't exactly welcomed her with open paws. Yet. ( I haven't given up, but it'd be great if someone local would adopt her...)

I had been told that the training procedure with cats was difficult. It's not. Mine had me trained in two days.  [Bill Dana]

For now, Daisy is living in our Florida room. Because it can get rather toasty in there in the hottest part of the day, she also has an egress point so she can slip out into the yard. Unfortunately, an opening to allow escape also allows for entrance. And not just for Daisy.

Remember Cowboy? He's the neighbor's cat who spends most of his time hanging out at our place, because he obviously thinks he belongs here. Used to be, he'd look into our house all pitiful-like from the front porch or back step. Let me tell ya, he's verrry happy Daisy has taken up residence in our Florida room, because it's a much more comfortable spot for him to grab a snack and take a snooze.

We don't mind the big fella's visits. We don't mind the other neighborhood cats who likely stop in for a bite to eat, either. They're very polite. No fights. No messes. Just nibble-nibble, nap-nap, and on their way. No problem.

Until there WAS a problem. When we came home from a recent four-day trip to Tennessee, our Florida room was a disaster area. The five-pound feeder was knocked over and completely empty, and the dishes of water were black with filth. Dirt and feces everywhere. It was obvious someone was being a crappy house guest. Literally.

To catch the culprit,  Smarticus baited a trap with cat food and set it out the next evening. Next morning, we found one of the funniest-looking cats you ever saw...


Eating cat food doesn't make you a cat any more than hanging out in a garage makes you a car.

Things are back to normal again around here, or as normal as any feline resort ever gets, I suppose. I had no idea raccoons could be so nasty, though. Cute, but nasty... and definitely devious. Check out this video of another raccoon thief. The last part is a hoot.


                                    Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot! The lovely Carol Kilgore is featuring me(!) as her featured author for her giveaway contest this month. Winner gets an autographed copy of Hot Flashes and Cold Lemonade and a copy of the super-duper Old Broads Waxing Poetic. To enter, visit her website and click on that nifty contest badge in her sidebar. It's easy, and it's FUN! Just respond to the question she poses there. Heck, why not make it a habit? She gives away neat stuff every month. No telling what we might sniff out...


90 comments:

  1. Aha! I knew the interloper was a raccoon even before I saw him in the cage. They're sneaky devils, I've read about them in many a novel.

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    1. Yeah, we kinda figured as much when we saw the mess. Plus, we'd even seen one walking around our yard... during the day.

      Delete
  2. I've seen that video countless times, and each and every single time, it still makes me laugh like a demented Hyena.
    Love the look on Dot's face. It's a look that says, "I own you, not the other way round."
    And I can personally testify that the quote "Eating cat food doesn't make you a cat..." is absolutely true, from the memories of my brothers constantly raiding our cat's bowl, (don't ask) much to Fluffy's chagrin.

    Entertaining as always.

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    1. I know what you mean. When that raccoon scoops up food in both hands and takes off running on his hind legs, it cracks me up, too.

      You interpreted that look on Dot's face well. All the cats think they own us, but she's mastered the "look."

      HA! I guess your brothers musta liked it!

      Thanks.

      Delete
  3. Delightful Susan, I am embarrassed by how much time i have spent opening doors for cats, but I believe it is time not deducted from one's lifespan --cats told me that. Raccoons, however are quite as dexterous as I and are another matter. They can roll stones off garbage bins and outwit bungee cords. Doubtless, the sad little fellow you safely trapped will be released in some remote area. Be forewarned, they can hotwire cars and drive back to your house. Keep NO MAPS where raccoons can find them!

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    1. Jules Verne said, "I believe cats to be spirits come to earth. A cat, I am sure, could walk on a cloud without coming through." (Well, our Dot may be an exception; she'd probably stomp right through it... or fall off.) Anyhow, the point is, since they're spiritual beings, I'm sure they put a good word in for us with the Big Guy. The kindnesses we do for them might even add a few minutes to our lifespans.

      Rest assured he is in a VERY remote area. I wouldn't be surprised if those buggers COULD hotwire a car, especially after seeing that video...

      Delete
  4. I am glad you caught the racoon ... they can destroy a place in no time flat...

    My kitty has been with me for a little over 5 years ... she isn't territorial but I bet if I brought another cat into the picture she would show her true colors... lol

    Your cats are cute Susan ... cats sure do know how to train us :)

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    1. Yeah, me, too. I was shocked at how big a mess he made.

      We've had our Dot and Dash divas for just over five years, too. They trained us in no time flat.

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  5. Look at all the kitties!!! KITTY!!

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  6. At least it wasn't a skunk that got in.

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  7. Ha! Those raccoons devilishly clever critters. Sorry that one made such a mess for you.

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    1. I knew they were pretty clever, but I had no idea what pigs they are. (So to speak.)

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  8. Yeah, I have to agree with Dolores; thank goodness it wasn't a skunk! And I loved that last bit on the video - clever!

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    1. That's for sure. It takes FOREVER to get rid of their scent.

      Yeah, who knew raccoons were so darned clever? (Or maybe it's devious...)

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  9. Dot is the twin to my Louise.

    We also have multiple cat visitors who we feed on a regular schedule. As a result, we also have some visitors in the night who are family members of your catch. We put out a humane cat catcher this summer to collect some baby feral kittens and also got a large raccoon and another time an ugly, very angry possum. It was not pleasant for either them or us. As Delores said, you and I were lucky though that we didn't catch a skunk.

    Have you ever seen the Lens Crafter ad where the lady with bad vision calls her kitty in the house and does not notice that it is a raccoon? My kids all thought of me when they saw it on TV.

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    1. Does Louise expect you to address her as "your royal highness" too...?

      This raccoon was snarlingly angry, too. I felt bad for him, but there's also been a lot of rabid raccoons in our area, so I didn't want to take any chances with him around our cats. Better that Animal Control took charge of relocating him. I sure hope he doesn't hot wire a car and come back.

      Yes! I think that ad is hilarious!

      Delete
  10. Hey, Susan,

    Fun catching up with you and your Kitty Menagerie! Glad you caught the culprit....

    Raccoons are really cute but very nasty creatures.

    Also glad so see OLD BROADS getting around the blogoshere!

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    1. Hi-ya, Michael!

      When I was a young girl... you know, back in the Dark Ages... I met a girl at the beach who had a pet raccoon named Sassafrass. He was adorable! Let me hold him all I wanted, and was all sweet and cuddly. THIS raccoon was none of those things. He was a class A slob with a bad attitude. And just a teensy bit scary. You're right; nasty.

      Yeah, me too! Our "baby" is doing pretty well.

      Delete
  11. lmao I never knew raccoons walked like that. They sure can makes a mess. Cats are a much better house guest.

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    1. I know... isn't that a hoot? But you're right; cats make much better house guests. As long as they don't start walking around on their hind legs... that would freak me out.

      Delete
  12. Raccoons can also open those plastic bins with the snap closures. Especially when they contain dog food. Love your kitties!

    Also, thanks for mentioning the contest on my website. Everyone welcome! If you already own Susan's book, a signed copy would make a great holiday or birthday gift :)

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    1. I'm beginning to think there's nothing those crafty 'coons can't do!

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  13. raccoons are very clever and dextrous. My husband has a heck of a time at his deer lease. They will shinny up poles and stretch far to get into feeder corn. He has video of the shenanigans and mess. No doubt your cats were disgusted by the mess your guest left. Enjoy the weekend

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    1. Shinny up poles??? Oh my goodness, those boogers really CAN do everything!

      Yes, the cats weren't at all happy with the mess, and supervised while their maid (i.e. me) cleaned it up.

      You have a super weekend, too!

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  14. Raccoons are darling, but they are awful pests. Umm, what did you do with this guy? I'm glad he didn't fight with the kitties.

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    1. Right on both accounts... darlings, but BIG pests. I'm glad he didn't fight with the kitties, too, because a number of rabid raccoons have been found in our area. I don't know where Animal Control took him, but I hope it was far far away, so he can't find his way back. (Unless he has a darned map...)

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  15. Raccoons are trouble makers.

    Love,
    Janie

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  16. It always amazes me that people can move and abandon their pet.

    Why have a pet if you're not attached to it?

    And if you're attached to it, how can you leave it behind?

    It's pretty clear that cats do not defer to people like dogs do. Mine will move, for example when I need him to, but he always seems pretty annoyed with me.

    My last several cats have been indoor0if they cried to go out, I'd let them, but I have neighbors who complain when a cats goes in their yard. The same neighbors do not seem to concerned that I have to pick up after their dog when he craps on my yard.

    Pets are cool. People suck.

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    1. Yeah, I know what you mean. I totally agree.

      Cats defer? Ain't gonna happen. They used to be worshiped as gods back in ancient days, and I swear, I don't think they've forgotten that.

      Your last line cracked me up.

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  17. Yikes. I shudder to think about a raccoon getting in through the cat flap!

    You may know we recently got a little black kitten. She's about 7 lbs. And we already had a 90 lb German Shepherd. Between the two of them, would you like to know who's in charge? ;)

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    1. Believe me, I shuddered when we saw the mess that darned raccoon made.

      I'll bet I can figure out who's in charge, even without a hint.

      Delete
  18. Were I live NO outdoor kitties or even dogs. They are tasty "horse de oevers" for everything.

    When I lived in Laguna Beach, one summer I planted all the boxes on my deck. That night I heard some noise and saw a beautiful Mum Racoon with three very adorable but extremely clumsy babies tripping and falling over and in everything. It was a hoot to watch but I was somewhat miffed about the clean up. little buggers !

    cheers, parsnip
    Your friend should send a note to her neighbor no dog poo no cat poo !

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    1. Yeah, I guess you DO have a few critters around who are scarier than a raccoon. They are definitely cute to watch, and clever as all get-out, but that MESS! No manners at all...

      Cheers!

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  19. Love the kitties! Raccoons CAN be nasty little buggers, can't they? None in this area that I know of, although there are skunks (a whole other issue) and the occasional coyote.

    VR Barkowski

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    1. Yes, now I know firsthand just how nasty raccoons can be. (And they look so cute!)

      You can keep the skunks. I don't have any interest in tangling with one of them. Not a coyote. (Although it would be kinda cool to hear them howl at night...)

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  20. I'm not a cat person (not even a dog person, I'm just not a pet person :-D) but you got me with that first quote. I'm still chuckling. Beauitful photos, too.

    Greetings from London.

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    1. My husband didn't "think" he was a pet person, either. The kids and I taught him otherwise.

      Greetings back atcha.

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  21. Raccoons are funny. I've decided that cat food is almost raccoon crack; they can't seem to stay away from it.

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    1. Yeah, raccoons are funny until they poop all over your stuff. That particular antic I can definitely do without.

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  22. Too funny! We had a family of five raccoons living under our shed for awhile. They always came out at night and were always quite mischievous.

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    1. Five of them?! Yowza. Mischievous I could handle. Destructive, not so much. (But they're still really CUTE.)

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  23. Raccoons can be real pests. Glad you were able to catch it. Sounds like your household is busy and full with so many cats in it! Hope you have a nice weekend!

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    1. I had no idea just how much of a pest a raccoon could be. Yep, our house used to be full of pets and kids. Now... just pets.

      You have a super weekend, too.

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  24. Just last night (early this morning) our cat appeared on the roof, and demanded to come indoors through the bedroom Velux (ceiling window). He then rattled his water bowl until it was filled, and curled up under my chin keeping me awake until I finally got up. Little bast**d.

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    1. HA! Sounds like that little bast**d has trained you well.

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  25. Dear Susan, wow - so many cats! I thought about having one in the last weeks again, even asked a Facebook-friend (and wonderful children-book illustrator, Rose Stanton) which breed is her hilarious cat. Then husband made me think: we live on the 2.floor, in a big city, we travel a lot (I already have difficulties to find a 'sitter' for the 72 plant.pots on my balcony). So reason says: no. Looking at your cats: heart plays another tune... (I have the book of George Mikis . Tsitsa the Cat - it is so funny).

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    1. Dear Britta,

      I KNOW! Believe me, we never PLANNED to have so many cats! They have chosen to adopt US. But I can't imagine not having at least one cat or dog. To me, they make a house a home, and definitely provide a lot of entertainment.

      Delete
  26. This is Dot. She's kinda the alpha cat around here.

    Dot is looking very skeptical about something. Did the someone try to sell her life insurance? Here in South Carolina racoons were kept as pets up until rabies got bad in the last 60's. My dad had a pet racoon as a kid.

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    1. Yeah, I guess you could call it skeptical. Looks more imperial to me, as though she's looking down her royal nose at the world.

      Unfortunately, there have been a lot of rabid raccoons in our area, which is part of the reason I was anxious to keep that 'coon away from our house and our cats. I would have loved to have a pet raccoon.

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  27. SUSAN ~

    I've found raccoons to be very tough

    even when medium-rare w/ tenderizer.

    How did you and Smarticus find it?

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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  28. Our Kitty, who trained us well, went to the great litterbox in the sky a year ago. Still miss her, but don't feel the need to replace her. She was one of a kind, ferocious at points, and that's the part I don't care to replace.

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    1. Every time we lose a pet. I think "no more," because I don't want to go through that awful pain again, but in the end, I can't resist getting another pet. (or two) It isn't so much a case of "replacing" a pet, because we can't ever do that. Each one is so darned unique. It's more a matter of wanting critters around for all the good things they add to our lives. Can't say that I'd try to replace a "ferocious" quality, though.

      Delete
  29. I've watched that video a bunch of times but it still makes me laugh out loud. Sorry you had a raccoon intruder! As soon as I read how filthy it was I figured it HAD to be a raccoon. God knows a cat would never leave such a mess. :D

    Your kitties are all adorable!

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    1. That video is a hoot.There's a lot of other ones on Youtube, but I opted to pick a short one. Those buggers are cute and clever as all get-out, but what slobs! And of course, you're right. Our princess cats would "never" leave such a mess. (Except with a roll of toilet paper or spool of ribbon... but that's just play!)

      Delete
  30. Cats definitely are the bosses of any household!

    I never realized that raccoons can be so dirty and messy. In German, they are called "wash bears" - maybe that's why I got the wrong impression that they would be clean and friendly. Funny video clip!

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    1. Yep, they're definitely the bosses. At least they do "allow"us to pet them, and share our beds with them...

      I didn't realize raccoons were so dirty, either. They DO like to "wash" everything they eat, which is probably why they're called wash bears in German. But OY! What a mess they can leave behind!

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  31. I strolled over to the contest and had a blast chuckling over the exchange between Isaac and Toby. You could render that raccoon and use its fat for cooking. I understand it tastes a little like a cross between coconut oil and crankcase oil...

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    1. Yeah, Carol comes up with some terrific premises for her monthly contests.

      HA! Coconut wouldn't be bad, but I dunno about that crankcase oil. As dirty as that bugger was, it'd be poetic justice if his fat were as black as dirty oil, though.

      Delete
  32. We had a raccoon family living underneath our deck for a long time.They would always pace up and down looking for food, and stare at us through the windows. It took several attempts before we finally had steel wire put in, so that they couldn't break through, but I still see them coming around once in a while. Great video! Sorry you had such a huge mess to clean up, Susan.

    Julie

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    1. Raccoons are pretty darned tenacious, aren't they? They do NOT know how to take no for an answer.

      Thanks. Now that the clean-up is behind me, I can say it was "no big deal." It would have been better if the temperature had been a little lower, though.

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  33. Loved the photos and the video...funny!

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  34. Raccoons scare me, but I've seen cats face them since they're fearless.

    Cats are so special with their personalities and quirks.

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    1. Except for my concern about rabies, raccoons never scared me before. I mean, they are so darned CUTE!

      But, yeah. Cats definitely rule.

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  35. Why are raccoons so cute for being such jerks? I'd be tempted to pet the little guy if I didn't think he might swipe me and give me rabies.

    I had a buddy who had a raccoon problem. He kept chasing it off, but it kept coming back. He read online that they can trace their way back to your house up to a few miles, so he trapped it, loaded the thing in the trunk of his car, and drove it 5 miles out into the country to release it. When he got there, he opened his trunk to find that the raccoon had gotten car sick and puked everywhere. A menace to the very last.

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    1. Good question. They don't have the sweetest dispositions, either.

      HA! I guess that raccoon wanted to be sure your friend would "remember" him. We caught another raccoon in our trap last night. At least, I THINK it was "another" one... (Maybe we should try putting an ID band on them...)

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  36. That quote about cats is so, so true :D And love the pictures! If I had more space and money and time I'd have a whole houseful of cats :)

    Sarah Allen
    (Writing Blog)

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    1. Thanks. Two cats is just right for me... maybe three tops, if Daisy and the other two divas learn to get along with each other. That's mostly because Dot and Dash already completely fill my lap (and then some) when they decide to sit on me at the same time.

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  37. LOVE the new header picture!!

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    1. Thanks! It doesn't FEEL like autumn around here yet, but that's no reason it can't LOOK like it!

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  38. I love the pictures and the quote. Thanks for sharing!

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  39. Hahahaha! Tankerbelle... Whew! You got me there.

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    1. HA! Wouldn't Tinkerbelle and Tankerbelle be perfect names for our divas?

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  40. Hi Susan .. love cats - but suddenly coming back and finding a raccoon indoors, even if a 'private room for Daisy' .. would be a surprise to say the least .. glad all is back to normal ... very lucky cats - that they have a Poetical Old Broad looking after them and waxing lyrical occasionally .. cheers Hilary

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    1. I think WE'RE the lucky ones... they "let" us take care of them.

      Cheers!

      Delete
  41. That video is funny. He must have been hungry, lolol

    We've got squirrels in our attic constantly, and they fill up my car w/acorns all year round. I hate it! But I don't hate the squirrels. I've got to take the car in to get the a/c box in it emptied. I turned on the heat this morning and the telltale acorn fluffs came flying out of the vents. *sigh*

    Better than a messy raccoon, I guess, so long as they don't chew wires or anything. Silly animals. ;)

    I hope your foster kitty gets adopted soon. :)

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    1. Squirrels... and chipmunks, too... can really be funny in where they store their acorns. My hubby bought an old motorcycle some years back, and the first time he fired her up, a cache of acorns and what-nut came flying out of the pipes. It was hilarious.

      Thanks. Me, too. We went to an art festival over the weekend, and there was a booth there representing a no-kill animal shelter, so if we have to, we may get in touch with them. Daisy would be much happier as on "only child", I think.

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  42. You must have a wonderful entertainment with those lovely cats. We've got 4 at home and each has its own character, so funny, so adorable. Sometimes we receive visitor cats from the neighborhood ands well but we don't let them in the house as our cats would get jealous. We leave them food outside.

    That funny racoon looks pitiful after being caught :)

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    1. Absolutely! They have very distinct personalities, and they're more entertaining than most shows on TV.

      Would you believe we caught ANOTHER raccoon... and a possum? It's been like the Wild Kingdom around here lately. And a baby chipmunk came into the Florida room to give Daisy some "exercise" chasing it around. (Talk about fast!)

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  43. Your cats are so sweet. Uninvited guests are such an annoyance. The squirrels are driving me nuts now. They also keep getting in my attic and I thought all the entrance places were plugged. I relocate them and my neighbor feeds them. uugghh

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    1. Oh.I can imagine how annoying it must be to have squirrels in your attic. Compared to that, uninvited critters coming into our Florida room isn't so bad. At least we don't hear them running around above our heads.

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  44. Racoons nest under our deck every year to have babies but I'd never had one try to come in the dog door. Maybe because Sophie is a little more protective of her food than those kitties were.

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    1. Then I reckon you must see raccoons fairly often. On Youtube, you can find quite a few videos of raccoons sneaking into houses at night through doggie doors, so you're really lucky they haven't ventured inside.

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  45. I am a dog lover who couldn't get through this post without sneezing.

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