Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Ruby Tuesday

Sleepless in Roo-attle?

When a Ruby is involved someone is almost always sleepless. If you're a parent whose child has watched Blue's Clues, you might remember this story...

Ruby's NOT tired. She's NEVER tired.

At least, not when you want her to be.

"Just go to sleep, Roo-Bird" says Simba.
The Roo-Bird says, "I'm not tired."

Really, she's not.... Can't you tell?


"Roo knows that you're sleepy and you're tucked good and tight,
but Ruby's not ready to sleep for the night."

"Roo knows that you're tired and really can't care,"

"There's something still happening way over there!"

"Roo's lids might be heavy..."

"And at times they might close."

"You're still here?" asks the Roo. "Well, okay... Just DON'T boop the nose!"

"You couldn't help yourself? You just had to do it, didn't you?"

"You talk to the paw... Sayonara... Toodle-Loo!"

Monday, April 29, 2013

Weekend Whiplash

What a weekend. 70 and sunny on Saturday meant capri pants, sunglasses, and dinner on the grill. 50 and pouring rain on Sunday meant jackets, umbrellas, and a crock pot stew. Fog rolls in Monday morning... Welcome to spring in Michigan (actually, that can be shortened to "Welcome to Michigan")

My apologies for the lack of new photos in today's post. The camera kept disappearing from it's normal "grab and go" position. Someone has been documenting the developments in a Science Fair project. Go Science! I have regained custody of it and promise to have plenty on hand for Ruby Tuesday tomorrow.

The Developments

Mama Clarice got up close and personal with a new friend this weekend. I'm not sure if I have mentioned that we are still keeping her upstairs in the family room and separate from the crew. This has nothing to do with her FIV+ status as I'm not worried a bit about fighting or possible infection of the resident cats. It began as an attempt to insulate her during the ringworm threat and then when Norm and Simba were sick and I wasn't sure what was going on with them. Since then, I've made an effort to introduce Mama to the crew but... Have I mentioned that she's not particularly brave? 

Mama loves, loves, loves people. All people, all ages, all sizes... if you have hands and are willing to pet her (or even if you just have legs that she can rub against), Clarice is your best friend. I'm not certain if it's the forward and blunt nature of my cats when meeting the new guys (Yes, you can take that the mean that Simba "sing songs" at her and Ruby prances right up to her and gives a quick hiss before moving on to play with her toys and Norm just completely ignores her while he rushes to her food bowl) or if she's just a bit shy, but Mama has shown absolutely no interest... zero, zilch, nada... in socializing with the other cats. If her door is open, she retreats underneath a piece of furniture and remains there until I close it.

"There's nothing wrong with being careful with strangers. Did you SEE what happened the last time I met a strange cat???"

"She doesn't meet US does she?"

"Well, she certainly couldn't have meant ME!"

"Have you seen our daddy?"

Anyway, up until now, meeting the other cats didn't seem to be on Mama Clarice's agenda. I have been letting her make the decisions. It's all about her feeling comfortable.

Her room is "kid central"... television, dvd player, video games are all up there. Weekends are hopping. Sleepovers generally happen in there. But this weekend another kind of sleepover happened. Apparently one of the residents entered the room undetected on Saturday night and remained when the kids went to bed.

I woke up Sunday morning wondering where the Roo was. She wasn't sleeping on my legs as usual. She didn't arrive for breakfast as usual. She wasn't in any of her normal hiding places. As I called and called, I heard a meow coming from Mama's room... where they were both waiting for me at the door.

I imagine they got along. Neither seem the worse for wear. I always figured Mama would be just fine with other cats once she was in a situation where she HAD to deal with it. Perhaps now she will be braver when I open her door.

Adoption hours at the store were slow this weekend. The first sunny day in forever meant that very few people were out shopping on Saturday. The return of the monsoons kept them home on Sunday. Here's hoping next weekend is more productive for Mama Clarice. 

The Update

While dropping Mama off at the store yesterday, I ran into a woman with a familiar face and a familiar voice. After chatting with her for a few minutes, I just had to ask... "Did you happen to adopt a kitten from us in November? A tabby boy named Lionel?" 

Little Lionel of the worried eyes?

And the helicopter ears?

She was, indeed, our Lionel's mama. I'm happy to report that he's the light of her life, into everything, crazy pants, and her snuggle friend. His name is now Matty.

The Roo seemed unimpressed by the news of her big brother.

The Quandry

I have been besieged by spam over the weekend in the form of anonymous comments. Up until now, spam has been sporadic... a comment here and there, usually not more than one or two per day that were almost always caught by the spam filter. This weekend, though? Dozens upon dozens upon dozens of spam comments, and about half of them made it through. The most frustrating? "It seems that your blog ate my first comment, so I'm trying again..." before more spam, more re-directing links to their own blogs (which mostly don't exist). 

I'd like to protect the blog from spam comments but I'd also like to keep commenting open here if I can. A few of our valued commenters around here use the "Anonymous" function but sign their names at the end. I don't want to make things difficult for them by turning off the option. But if it disappears, you know why.

And in the world of "You have GOT to be flipping kidding me", within five minutes of posting? An anonymous comment asking for blog advice (they generally start that way before asking to click a link). I know most spammers use bots for maximum efficiency, so it probably isn't particularly helpful to tell them to get a life... but they really, really should.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Drum Roll, Please...

Okay so it's not exactly a drum roll and it's not even a recent video, but the resident drummer had already gone to bed before I started to write this post. I would not win Mother of the Year if I made him get up just to make me a pertinent video, so this is what I've got. So, drum roll please....

After reviewing the suggestions you all made in Wordplay on Wednesday, I have come to a very important decision... I can't possibly narrow the selection down to just one.

Your suggestions were so amazing, so dead-on perfect for what I need that it seems we have a slew of kitten namers among us.

The Selection

The first name that I've chosen is for the legal business name. Several criterion went into the selection process. First, I had to love the sound of it. Second, I had to be able to register it as a legal business entity in Macomb County, Michigan. Third, I had to be able to acquire a dot com web domain with that name (and only that name) dot com. My new business name? The Whisker Watch

I am so excited! After lots of consideration and playing around the with alternatives, this feels completely right to me. It fits the qualifications above and I will be on my way to the county building to register my name first thing this morning.

So who wins this part of the naming contest? Well... I was the first to suggest it, but I've named plenty of kittens. My husband picked it as his favorite of everything mentioned, but he's already named a kitten too. In fact, he insisted upon a kitten named Wilhelmina. I shortened that behemoth of a moniker to Willie Rae. Her forever family re-named her Ruby.

Seeing that we have kept every foster kitten he has named, he doesn't get to name another one.

One other person chimed in with Whisker Watch, leaving off the word "the". For various personal reasons, I'm choosing to keep the article though. I am "The Watch", just as my military husband is part of "The Watch" in defending our country and my retired police officer father was part of "The Watch" in keeping our neck of the woods safe. So the "the" stays and Chris gets to name the first Monroe kitten! (Chris, when the Monroes arrive I will post photos with genders. Just e-mail me your choice and kitten and his or her name and it shall be so!)

Another part of the reason I chose this? Well, ever since the name popped into my head, I've been visualizing a logo that looked something like this:

Of course, it would have to be drawn by someone who actually knew what they were doing with a computer graphics program. That person isn't me, so consider this a prototype.

The Others

Yes, there's more! As I considered the other suggestions, I realized that so many of them had something very relevant to say about my business... and you'll find them on the website once I have it up and running. The people who made the following suggestions will also gain rights to name a kitten:

The second name that I chose actually spawned an idea for an entire new service that I will be offering. If you're like me, you've had mornings when you reached into the cupboard to discover that you were completely out of pet food (It happens more often than you would think around here with teenagers who feed but forget to inform their mother that we are out of food). For established clients with keys in my lock box, all it takes is a phone call and The Whisker Wizard will work her magic, running to the store and making sure that Fido or Fluffy are well fed while their human friends are at work. 

SC Amy names Monroe kitten number two. Thank you!

The third Monroe kitten will be named by the person who suggested Whisker Wrangler, which is the exact description of taking Charlie for a walk... wrangling.

"Charlie's an excellent walker. Look at how pleasant walking with Charlie can be!"

Dog walks will be under the heading Whisker Wrangling. This suggestion came from two sources:
  • The first person left the comment anonymously. If you are Anonymous, let me know who you are (you can send an e-mail if you prefer to teenytinytabbies AT gmail DOT com). As long as only one Anonymous responds (be honest), he or she will choose the name of the third kitten. Edited to Add: Kathryn is anonymous no longer! She will get the rights to name our kitten number three. :) 
  • The other source? My parents, who sent several e-mails with ideas and Whisker Wrangler was one of them. If Anonymous does not step forward, then they get to name Monroe kitten number three. If Anonymous does end up naming a kitten, then my parents get to name the first kitten of the Jackson litter. Don't worry about them having to wait. They're incredibly patient. After all, they've been putting up with me for decades ;)
But I'm not even done yet...

Other suggestions were made that were absolutely phenomenal, but would be better used in future plans that I have. I have them written down in my business plan along with the name of the person who left it in the comments. If I use anything you have suggested in the future, you will be rewarded with the opportunity to name a future kitten in the rescue. I don't forget my debts... and I owe a ton of them to all of you.


The Jacksons? I'm planning for the Jacksons already? Gee, I hope there are five of them ;)

Have a great weekend everyone. Mama Clarice goes back to adoption hours tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed and, if you are so inclined, share share share!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Okay... Who Did It?????

All right... Which one of you did it? Simba?

"No, of course not. Simba has been on his giraffe bed all day protecting it from interlopers. Why don't you ask The Menace?"

Ruby Ruby Roo? Was it you?

"Ruby does not know what the Lady is talking about. Ruby is just sitting... sitting here very innocently... Why don't you ask old grumpy pants?"

Norm? Norman, have you been up to no good?

"Look, Lady. It wasn't Norm either. Why don't you ask whichever muffin brain put the ice cream in the refrigerator? Perfectly good waste of mint chocolate chip, grumble grumble grumble..."

Well, if it wasn't Simba and it wasn't Ruby and it wasn't Norman, WHO could it be?

Someone, I repeat, SOMEONE had something to do with this.

It appears that someone has melted the dog.

Was it YOU?

Look at him, all limp and sprawling out of the dog bed.

Crashed out on his face.

Drooling on the floor.

He wouldn't do this to HIMSELF, would he?

So it stands to reason that someone has indeed melted my dog.

"Seriously, Lady? What's wrong with you?"

"It's as if the Lady has never met this dog before."


As you can see, I'm playing with watermarks. Little by little, I'm figuring things out. For example, I used the same size lettering in the watermark of every photo in this post. Seems that the watermark took over the two vertical photos, though. Live and learn... I had compressed them both months ago so the actual photo is smaller on my computer (which I imagine made the watermark bigger). Now I have to learn how to uncompress... decompress? Either that or figure out the size ratio. Too much learning at 10 pm hurts my head so it will have to wait for another day. :)

Be sure you come back tomorrow. I'll be announcing some kitten naming winners.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Foster Kitten Update

I know something you don't know. I know something you don't know...

Okay, you know darn well that I can't keep a secret. Our future foster babies have been sighted!! Their mama left her den while my friend was out in her yard. So she peeked in and saw...

Three teeny tiny babies. Two torbies (torties maybe?) and one orange. My best guess is that we're getting two girls and a boy, but don't quote me on it. They are two weeks old now. Their itty bitty eyes have opened and their ears are still curled over their teeny tiny heads. I'm swooning and I haven't even seen them yet!

Gee, I hope the orange one looks like its big brother.

If Mama Marmie follows her usual pattern, she will bring the babies to the yard for lessons on eating solid food in another couple weeks. Then it will be a quick few days of learning how to trust the human in the yard before Mama leaves her babies behind for foster. I imagine they will be here in mid-May.

Hang on. It's just a little while longer :)

I also know something else that you don't know yet...

But I'm holding onto this secret for another few days. Business decisions have been made. Name chosen, registration paperwork underway, website domain name in the works, business cards designed, locating providers for insurance and first aid classes. This is becoming addictive.

I'll let the kitten namers (plural) know in plenty of time to make their decisions. Just waiting to make sure everything is truly and legally mine first.

"If the Lady keeps ignoring the Roo, Ruby will feel compelled to destroy something else in the house. These Palm Sunday fronds have been toast for FAR too long!"

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Ruby Tuesday

Thank you for hanging in there with me during the crazy past week. In the past seven days, I have:

  • Cheered at four soccer games (3 wins, 1 loss)
  • Witnessed two high school musical productions
  • Traveled to an out-of-town state level high school choir competition
  • Watched an elementary school math competition and realized I had NO idea what these kids were doing (Even more impressive? My kid scored 2nd place in the school district... and was somewhat disappointed because she won it last year. Her math genes clearly come from her father)
  • Stood in various lines for over an hour while my son was measured for his high school marching band uniform (HIGH SCHOOL????)
  • Made a snare drum birthday cake from scratch for the soon-to-be high school freshman's 14th birthday
  • Hosted TWO sleepovers on consecutive nights

All of the above occurred between:

  • Completion of the repairs to the upstairs bathroom which created a tornado of dust that I am STILL cleaning from around the house
  • An overflowing toilet in the downstairs bathroom that flooded not only the bathroom but the back hallway to the house while the kids were home alone (Let's just be grateful that it was CLEAN water)
  • Water seeping in my basement during the April monsoon that visited Michigan last week
  • Copious amounts of bad words being used indiscriminately

So on Sunday night, I crashed.

On Monday after the kids got on the school bus, I took a 3 hour nap.

Thank goodness this week's calendar appears to be a bit more manageable. I'm ever so glad to be back here with you.


Ruby Tuesday

*13 Things That You Might Not Know About The Roo*

1. Ruby was born on Monday, September 3, 2012. Besides being conveniently born on Labor Day, her birthday is also another important holiday in our household... Charlie's Gotcha Day! We brought Charlie home from the rescue on Sunday, September 3, 2011. 
Something tells me that they expect a big party on Tuesday, September 3, 2013. (They might just get it too, considering it will be the first day back to school for the kiddos after a looooooong summer. Yeah, I know that already).

2. Ruby had two sisters and two brothers (two Siamese points and two tabbies). Oddball Ruby is a torbie, or a tortoiseshell tabby. She has stripes on her legs, face, and tail, but spots on her side and belly. She also has an orange "angel kiss" on her forehead and an orange stripe down her side. As our vet said at her 8-week-old check up, "This one doesn't know what she is, does she?"

3. That orange "angel kiss" on her forehead came from the late, great Madame Einstein (the previous torbie in residence) and you can't convince me otherwise. Or perhaps it's just a wonderful accident of genetics. Sadly, her "angel kiss" is growing smaller in proportion to the rest of her head as the head grows bigger.

4. Ruby is full of torbie-tude and isn't afraid to flash it when necessary. She freely hisses and growls at cats twice her size or larger in order to establish dominance. Those it hasn't worked on? AbbyCadabby and Chanel, Cruz Adams, Lincoln Quincy-Adams, and Levi Madison.
He looks SO scared of her, doesn't he?
As did the rest of the litter...
 Someone it has intimidated?
Mama Madison would rather hide out than deal with Ruby Roo.

5. Despite her torbieness, Ruby is not as grumpy as she appears to be (or as grumpy as I portray her in the blog because she looks so stinking grumpy in every photo I take). Rather, she is a sweet baby kitten who purrs ALL.the.time. She is the ultimate lap kitty who loves everyone and everything.

6. Ruby is the only cat in 10+ years to tame Simba. Mr. Grumpy Pants inexplicably has a soft spot for the Roo.
This is why she got to stay. Well, that and she made us keep her.

7. Simba and Ruby engage in a nightly ritual that involves chasing, screeching, and wrestling in the upstairs hallway every night at 10:30. 6-pound Ruby regularly defeats 16-pound Simba.
Simba thinks she cheats.

8. Ruby greets everyone (human, feline, canine) by launching off her feet and rubbing on whichever body part she comes into contact with. On Simba, it's his chin. On Charlie, it's his lower leg. On Norman, it's usually the floor because he quickly ducks out of her way.
Norman is far too distinguished for such nonsense.
He also had a clear preference for Abby.

9. Ruby canNOT pass the track ball without going at least three or four rounds with it.

10. She also kills every feather teaser within reach.

I'm still finding purple feathers in my bathroom.

11. Ruby did NOT learn her lesson about the stairs (if you'll recall that when she was still a foster named Willie Rae, she avoided adoption hours by doing a swan dive through the railing from the second floor to the first floor down below). 
We pull her back onto the landing pretty frequently when she gets too interested in what's happening downstairs. And... She has never EVER walked down the complete set of stairs. She prefers to take a shortcut through the railing roughly 4 steps from the bottom.

12. No matter what you might think, your straw belongs to Ruby.

She dares you to make something of it.

13. Ruby is obsessed with water. She carries on for fresh water first thing in the morning while the others beg for breakfast. No cup is safe from the machinations of a marauding Ruby. She LIVES to dump your water on the floor. She hangs out near the sinks and the bathtubs waiting for her chance to splash.
Although she prefers to remain OUTside the tub, thank you very much.