Friday, December 30, 2011

Go Me!

If I do say so myself. I think I can see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Tonight I caught the last of the kittens, thanks to the local shelter letting me borrow a smallish trap. She (at least I've been assuming it's a she; I still don't really know) is in the dining room right now with her two brothers, Rory and the one I've been calling Flufius Maximus. (Latin, you know; in the Greek it's μεγαφλωφιος, if you're wondering.)

I'd caught the second one a couple weeks ago now. He was quite shy at first, enough that I wondered if he was ever going to warm up to me; but over time he saw Rory running to greet me purring like crazy and came to the conclusion that I was probably all right. Plus, I had ham.

So he, too, warmed up to me little by little until now he sits at my feet and mews at me to pick him up so he can also purr like crazy.

I took them in for their first round of shots &c at the shelter yesterday. They were very good with the car, and I am grateful.

Hopefully the two of them will be able to convince their younger sibling that I am okay in the same way. I don't know; this one has unavoidably been left till last and is probably older than is ideal. But I'm going to make a go at it.

I don't have a picture of the new little fluffy one, but I do have one to show you of her fluffy brother, Flufius Max, a.k.a. Fizgig, a.k.a. Young Scratch:

So with any luck, that should be about it for the feral cat situation around here, or at least as good as it's going to get. In theory, there shouldn't be any more unspayed mommy-cats showing up on my doorstep, since the ones that are here are an established family group and this is their territory. With luck.

ETA: Also, the three smaller ones we took in, Ratty, Danny, and Maurice are all neutered as of last week, so that part is done, too, yay.

But do you want to see something strange? I noticed about that time that Danny had two fangs on one side of his mouth, the top right side. I got a picture, even:

Well that's weird, I thought. Then I went and checked Maurice and Ratty, his littermates, and sure enough each one of them also had two fangs on the upper right. My guess is that it's a baby tooth thing and the grown-up teeth are replacing the littler fangs. It would make sense that keeping the fangs working at all times, even as they are being replaced would be a priority in a predator; lose one fang and maybe not make it through the winter, you know? I don't think it's some kind of shared genetic mutation; they are since back to one fang each in that spot. Still, who knew?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

One Out One In

Goodness! It's only been three days, yet who should show up again but our Rusty Jones? Our tireless, persistent, ever cheerful Rusty Jones. What a thoroughly decent man.

So today the red Saab convertible's lease on life was up. Or rather, it's lease on its parking spot in my yard was up. This one didn't actually get junked; it was simply moved to Tara's yard, where, since it is after all her car, she can do with it as she will. I suppose technically this could count as churning from Tara's point of view, but from mine I'd say it's all good, since it's no longer here at the Best Little Hoardhouse in Massachusetts, and that's what counts.

About a week ago we moved it to the driveway, to make getting it on a ramp truck easier. Here's the spot over by the shop where it had been for a while. I don't remember how long, but it was long enough to kill the grass under it.

And here it is up on the ramp truck in an action shot of it leaving the driveway:


So that then puts us at twelve cars down, with fourteen to go. One more and we'll be at an even thirteen/thirteen split. (Why that's my lucky number!) It occurs to me now that if from here on in we can manage to get rid of one car a month, it'll be all done in a year or so. I hadn't thought of that.


Now. On to the important stuff. Or at least the really, really cute stuff.

Because I have a couple more kitten pictures. When last we met, Splotch, Smudge and Spot, the three feral mommy-cats, had had their mommy abilities surgically removed, and all their previous kittens had been fostered and adopted, or were hanging out in the kitchen getting up to no good as permanent residents. That left the last batch of kittens, the ones Spot had sometime in September (though maybe it was October. It all kind of blurs together honestly, and kittens have a way of both slowing down and speeding up Time). At any rate, that's three more kittens to socialize and give up for adoption. The last three, knock on wood.

I feel I must clarify something, though. I got a bit mixed up with them, because two of them look exactly identical and at first I could not tell which was which. So one of them managed to get named twice, the bigger of the two extremely fluffy kittens. That was the one whose face looked like the grouchy old tom-cat Old Scratch, so I'd called him Young Scratch; he was also however the bigger of the two and I'd also named him Fizgig, not realizing he was the same kitten.

I am about 90% certain that that twice-named kitten is male. It is surprisingly hard to tell, because, seriously, his butt is just way too fluffy. It's all just a haze of grey fur which is hiding important details like oh the possible presence of testicles. But I got him to play a little and roll over and I think I spotted some.

The third of the three however has been quite shy and I still don't know. So it's 50-50 with that one. Though I'm paranoid it may never warm up to me; it really is quite shy. If it's male, then that's not a big deal; it'll just be a tom-cat, which, while not ideal, is still okay; if it's female, though, I will have to trap it and spay it or the whole thing starts all over again.

I do think that probably with some more work it will come around. I have played with it a bit, so the process is already under way. It's really a very dainty little thing, with a face that is much sweeter than Young Scratch's; if it's a girl, I shall call it Mademoiselle Zéphirine Chatonne-Gris. If it's a boy I'll have to come up with something else I guess.

Anyway last week I managed to entice Rory into walking into the cat carrier. I promptly shut the door on him then, though he didn't like that at all, hoo boy, and brought him into the house to the dining room, which is where we'd had the other kittens over the summer as it's out of the way and can be easily closed off from the rest of the house. Rory of course promptly spent the next twenty-four hours or so hiding in a corner, poor little guy.

I was worried about him, a bit, though I know that cats hate being moved into a new environment and it can take them a while to get used to it. Place and familiarity are so very important to them.

I needn't have worried, though. By the next night he was curled up in my lap, purring himself to sleep, and in the not quite a week since he's been inside he's really become a first-rate house kitten. He instantly knew just what the litterbox was for, I can walk around all tall and up on my twos and not freak him out, I can even pick him up now and he'll just purr and purr and purr.

I am hoping the next two will be as adaptable. I'm aiming to get Young Scratch inside in the next couple of days.

So anyway, you know you need some pictures. Here is Rory (code name: Rory Adorable) in his grey and white splendor. The grey spot on his right back foot, which envelops one entire toe, just kills me.

And the out-of-focus close-up:

He really is such a good little guy. Whoever adopts him is going to be one lucky, lucky person.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


I wasn't honestly sure I'd ever see this day. It was just too impossible, too far-fetched, too dreamlike. But remember: with Rusty, all things are possible.

For today was the day the Triumph TR3A, that poor sorry beat-up dry-rotted bondoed mess of a British car that has been hanging out in the upstairs garage since Time Immemorial (or at least since the late 80s), went away. And not only did it go away, someone actually gave us a pile of cash to take it away. That's right; the guy paid us money for it and brought his own trailer. (Well, his buddy's trailer).

Do you believe this? Here it is, out in the sunshine, something it hasn't seen in oh thirty years:

Ostensibly the guy is going to fix it up. Though frankly I've heard that one before. Still, it's no longer my problem, now is it? And for that I say REJOICE.

And here it is, up on the trailer, just prior to going away:

And now for the best part—feast your eyes on that big hunk of empty space. I don't think I have ever seen the garage look like that.

So that puts us at eleven rusty cars out of here, with fifteen left to go. Two more and we'll have gotten half of them out of here. Well, half of them counting from when I started this blog, anyway. If we start from the seventy-eight junk cars that were here when the yard was at its very worst in the mid 90s? That gives us sixty-three down, with fifteen to go. Which, doing the math out of curiosity, means we have gotten rid of 80.8% of the cars here since the mid 90s, and only have 19.2% of them left. That's pretty impressive, even if it's taken more than ten years now. So go us!

ETA: Swapped out the trailer picture because Tara sent me a better one. So if it looks different it's not you.

ETAA:Whoops, did the math wrong on that; I've fixed it above. I subtracted the eleven when it should have been the fifteen left.