Stuff About Things

My head

I had a rough day yesterday. I half expected it since I had been feeling better. But yesterday hit me hard. I posted a few things here and then decided that I hated what I had written. So during one of my fits, I turned the posts off. They will return when I figure out what I was actually trying to say. I have to admit, I’m having a little trouble focusing lately and I should say something just in case anyone out there wondered what was going on. It’s Friday morning and I’m feeling better again. We’ll see how things go.

Web stuff

We were forced to shut comments down this weekend on all old posts. Why? Because on Sunday evening I got blasted by spam. I was easily receiving a hundred per hour, maybe more. And this attack began Sunday night at 2 AM and continued well into Monday morning. Some of them – no, most of them – made it past Akismet. I had to delete them by hand, which took me entirely too long. And deleting comment spam was the last thing I wanted to deal with on Monday morning. Each time I thought I had caught up, more showed up. Eventually Tobyjoe used his mad programming skills and turned comments off on all older posts. However, in doing so, something else changed as well. “0 Comments” is now showing up on all new posts that I have marked as “Comments not allowed”. We’re working on it. We’re working on a few other things as well.

My Flickr Pro account expired yesterday and -I can’t seem to spend enough time over there in order to renew it. I either need to take the pictures of Schmitty down, or add a bunch more and move him to the next page. I wonder what happens when you lose your pro status? Do you have to sit at another table in the cafeteria? Will I get wedgies?– (Had some PayPal funds I had forgotten about. Pro for another year.)

The madness

Tucker has been breaking my heart lately. He’s basically the reason I had a bit of a setback yesterday. You see, Pookum (our other cat) is a pain in the butt. She won’t go near him and when he tries to go near her, she punches him in the head. So he aimlessly walks about the house talking to no one at all (something he never, ever did before Schmitty died). He smells and sleeps on the bath mat Schmitty once took great comfort in. He won’t eat unless I walk to the kitchen with him and he won’t continue to eat unless I stay there. He’s completely confused and, dare I say, lost? I had no idea cats could feel loss. Solution? Get another cat! That’s completely stupid. I know. So, I need someone tell us that we’re completely insane to even consider adopting another cat right now.

We have a baby on the way, after all. Let’s just hope that one fuzzy creature doesn’t find its way to our doorstep. I won’t go out looking for another cat, but if one finds me, I’d have a hard time saying no right now. It’s a good thing we live in a 3rd floor walk up.

The great debate!

Tobyjoe and I have this debate in our household: kill shelter or no-kill shelter? Last night we discussed the idea of adopting another creature. (Don’t worry, mom, we were just talking.) We never know what to do. Do we support the good guys and adopt from a no-kill shelter or save the creatures from the bad guys? It’s a tough one. I’m curious to hear what others think.


  1. What’s your address? I’ll bring my cat to your doorstep and ring the bell. How long does it take to drive from Columbus, Ohio to Brooklyn??


  2. hahaha! I think the drive is about 11 hours. Hell, if you make the trip, you might as well hang out for a few days! Don’t drop and drive!

    We need a big boy to keep Tucker company. He likes to put them in headlocks and follow them around the house. And he likes it when the other cat licks his forehead. Seriously, I had no idea that he would even realize Schmitty was gone. But there’s no doubt about it, he’s acting different.


  3. It sounds like they were buddies. I’m sure the pecking order will be change in your home as soon as they adjust. Who knows, maybe Pookum will warm up to Tucker? Maybe he can curl up with the baby. And in a year, that baby will be putting Tucker in headlocks and carrying him around.

    Yeah, if I drove all that way, I would stay to meet you in person! And I would have to go visit with Missy too!


  4. My parents had three cats and when the oldest died, the one they thought would be hit the hardest seemed to take it in stride, while the other became sort of a nervous wreck (the one who died had been their fearless leader). My mom, feeling the void, waited about four weeks and went out and adopted a sweet little kitty from one of the volunteer groups at a pet superstore, and while she is now totally a member of the family (and the cutest cat ever), it took the other two quite a long time to warm up to her.

    So the good was that it distracted my mom from her grief (though she said as delighted as she was with the new kitten she still missed the old guy terribly) and the bad was that the other cats were like, Eh, not so much. But they tolerate her and one of them may even actually like her. I think you just have to do what’s right for you. I would be totally tempted to get a new furry ball of joy too but can totally understand waiting since you’re expecting your own little bundle pretty soon now! Your solution is perfect, I think. Hang in there!


  5. KidKate, What was their sex? And age as well? I have been super curious about that lately.

    I think that if we temporarily lost our minds and did get another cat, we’d get another boy. But who knows.

    I really have to stop thinking about this. My mother is going to call me up and kick my ass. ;]


  6. I believe animals feel grief. I know they feel joy so why not grief.

    I’ve been thinking about you lately. Take care of yourself and the mini bean.



  7. Riley was totally freaked out and mourning after Cinders died, and they had only spent a bit over a year together. I ended up adopting another cat (an 11 year old rescue from the shelter who we named Nikko) about a month later and they were awesome together. As far as I know, they’re both still living happily with my ex-husband in Michigan.

    Both times Dub has been hospitalized, it has affected Kali greatly. She wouldn’t eat much, she’d wander around and cry for him, and she was even clingier than she usually is. I wonder sometimes if they’ve got an even closer bond because they’re siblings and, aside from those couple of weeks where Dub was sick, they’ve not been apart from each other their entire lives. I really worry about one of them passing before the other, and how it will affect them.

    But yeah, I think cats do bond with each other, and they do feel grief and loss and all of those other emotions that we do. Give Tucker some extra lovin’ during this time – it’ll do you both some good.


  8. Meghan, thanks for the link. Tobyjoe read some of that to me last night. I think it may have been the same site even. Though, I never saw it. He read it out loud to me as we watched our Orangeman walk around aimlessly. Poor little fuzzy.

    Jen, you have two cats, right? Maybe it’s time to adopt a buffer cat? ;[ heh, I kid. That’s what Tucker was for us. Granted, Pookum never really took to him, but he treated Schmitty like he was his long lost father or older brother or something. I remember it really well. We got Tucker over 4th of July four years ago. We had him at home for about a week and a half and then left for vacation for a week. Before we left, he used to nurse on Tobyjoe’s ear when we slept and sleep on my neck. He loved us both. Then we went on vacation. When we got back, he was Schmitty’s. He never did any of the stuff he did the first week. He moved onto The Big Guy. They were close ever since.


  9. Yes, we just have the two, though we have talked from time to time about adding a third. Dub usually does really well with other cats (must be that gregarious Orangemani gene!) but Kali I’m not so sure about. She adores her brother but she does tend to hiss at the outdoor kitties when they come by. When I was still living in Boston with a roommate who had a cat they did okay, though Kali never did warm up to Penny as much as Dub did. It sounds like in your situation, though, the kitties got used to the 3 cat dynamic, so it would probably work well if that’s what you and Tobyjoe decide to do.


  10. Hey guys. I added another little bit at the end of this post. If you come back, I’m wondering your thoughts. It’s right at the end.


  11. I am pro-kitties. Get a companion kitten for Tucker. Love heals broken hearts.


  12. I find adopting from a person to be quite nice. Like a person who has cats and gosh darn one up and had some kittens. They need homes.
    I had a cat from a farm, a stray that adopted our family, one from humane society, and the current furball is from a friend who couldn’t keep her due to her partner disliking cats (They were married and she wanted the cat and he didn’t- so I got a cute kitty).
    BTW- Humane Society in Manhattan are very nice folks. My cat recently went there for her surgery and everything went fine and they were nice there.


  13. Let’s see…the guy who died was 14 and definitely the alpha cat, the next one in line (the one we thought would be hit the hardest but took it the best) was about 10 or 11 and was a gay male (no, seriously!), and the one who was a nervous wreck was a 8-9 year old female, though truth be told, she is kind of a nervous cat anyway. They got a female nearly-kitten and while the gay male warmed up to her, the nervous wreck female still doesn’t care for her much (though they don’t fight or anything). Come to think of it, maybe they should have gotten a male so it didn’t upset the balance so much…

    I got my first dog from a kill shelter in Austin (the one recently written up in the NYT Magazine) and the second from (a family couldn’t keep her and was placing her themselves, but BARC in Williamsburg sponsored their listing). I guess I would be tempted to go for the kill shelter since the conditions are worse? Tough call, though.


  14. Re: the debate – wow, that’s a really good question. And I don’t really know what we’d do in that situation. On the one hand, we love the people and animals at BARC so we’d probably be inclined to adopt from them, but on the other hand, the opportunity to save an animal from a kill shelter would be awesome.

    I think in our current situation, though, if we were going to take in another cat it would be one of the strays who hang out in our yard. Stumpy is HUGELY pregnant now and we’re planning to construct a little weatherproof and comfy hut for her in the yard this weekend in the hopes that she’ll have her litter there, and then we can at the very least get her spayed and hopefully get her and her babies adopted. And Hoople is just the sweetest boy. He’s a total mush. We’d love to take both of them in, and if we had more space and funds, I think we would. For now we have to settle for providing them food and water and a safe haven, and lots of pets and scratches when we hang out in the yard.


  15. For a couple of weeks after Seuss died, Daisy would walk around the house in the middle of the night howling. It was the saddest thing because we knew she was looking for Seuss. They had been together for over ten years. The funny thing is that once Shep arrived she stopped looking for Seuss. She has always been a big fan of Shep paying much more attention to him than she did to Simone as a baby. We’ve decided Shep must be part Seuss.

    We debated getting another cat (and still do) but Seuss was the only cat Daisy ever got along with. We are afraid if we got another cat and it didn’t like Daisy we would have to find it a home. We don’t think it is fair to do to Daisy at her age so we are staying a one cat family.


  16. Many years ago when I was home over Summer break, we had put my cat Diana down due to cancer. We buried her in back of the garden along w/ the other pets we’ve lost over the years…. anyway… our other cat at the time, would go and sit on her grave for hours on end. I broke my heart, I couldn’t believe that he knew that that’s where she was. They had been together for 7 years I think.
    I think it’s amazing animals know these things.

    I have two boys right now, Thor and Simon, and I know that if something happened to one of them, it would be very hard for me to not go out and get another one, for myself and for the remaining one.


  17. You people! I tell ya. We just stepped out to get a quit bite to eat. We stopped at the pet store on the way home to get Tucker some toys. When we were leaving, Toby said, “So, tonight we’ll visit petco and get some more toys, you know, when we get another cat.”

    They have no kill animals there, however. And I’m still very on the fence over whether we should save a kill animal or a no-kill. Tough, tough call.

    Schmitty was adopted from a kill pet store. Little did the world know what they would have missed had they put him down. (They nearly did. You see, I fell in love with Schmitty one day while stupidly visiting the pet store at the mall in State College. He was huge compared to the rest of the kittens and I knew no one would ever adopt him because of his size. I visited him twice in two weeks, got to know a couple of the people on staff. I finally told the woman who worked there that if no one adopted him in the next week and they were going to have to put him down because of it, that she should call me and let me know first. A week later, she called. And I picked him up. My roommates were NOT Pleased. That was why I didn’t have a cat earlier; my roommates were very much against it. But i could not allow them to put Schmitty down.)

    We got Pookum from Paws, a no-kill shelter. (I think so at least, right?) And we adopted Tucker from another kill shelter in State College. It’s a tough decision. It really is.


  18. jenblossom – if yall need a hand building kitty condos, let us know.


  19. Poor Tucker. I’ve never seen an animal feel loss but I’m sure that they do. Hopefully he’ll adapt to his new more solitary lifestyle soon.

    That shelter question is a hard one! TOO HARD. I say if it’s an adult cat, go get one from the heartless kill-shelter since you’ll probably be rescuing them from a time there when they’ll be passed up for kittens and will get closer to the LONG WALK.
    If you need/want a kitten go give the good guys your adoption fee. Kittens will ALWAYS get snapped up at any shelter so they dont need your help at the kill-place, and i’m sure a no-kill place is more hard-up for donations/funding.

    Good luck. :)


  20. Poor Tucker – it’s hard to lose your best buddy. He will adjust, as will you, though it doesn’t always feel that way. Losing a pet is hard on everyone.

    I have to throw in my two cents on the kill versus no-kill debate. People seem to think that the so-called kill shelters are bad, just euthanizing adoptable animals left right and center. They are not.

    A really good piece on kill versus no kill can be found here (it’s written by Parasol, who named a shelter kitty “mihow” after you):

    I learned a lot from her post that I didn’t know before. And it gave me a tremendous amount of respect for the people who work in these so-called kill shelters – people I see all of the time, who take care of shelter animals like they were their own pets, who cry with me when some of my foster kittens are too sick to make it, and who have to make really tough choices for the animals in their care every day.


  21. Robyn, thanks for the link. I will read it right away. Also, your comment for some reason had been marked for me to approve. I think things got a bit out of hand last Sunday after I got nailed with comment spam. You’re A-OK now, however. Sorry for the delay in getting it live. :]

    Now, I shall read that.

    Also, too bad “mihow” isn’t still around. I would take him in a second now that Schmitty is gone.


  22. ha – I wondered whether it had gotten lost in the ether (I sent it to you by email as well, as part of a longer ramble). No worries. :)

    We are jonesing for a new foster kitten at our place. “Mihow” sounds like a great name to me! They never come to us with good names (or names at all) – we always have the luxury of picking (and then finding out what their new owners changed them to, good or bad).


  23. I read her piece. Nice work. I do understand what she’s saying. Makes perfect sense.

    You know what’s odd? I have only ever been to three “no-kill” shelters: PAWS (which, I think, travels around. However, when they aren’t traveling, do they put their cats in foster homes? I need to learn more about this.), BARC (which will take almost any type of animal including the mean ones, including the fat cranky ones, and including the animals that are beaten beyond recognition. I am amazed at how helpful and kind they are.) The last “no-kill” I have been to is whoever sets up temporary shelter in Petco at Union Square. (Kitty Kind maybe?) I really don’t know much about what happens to these creatures when they aren’t on display for adoption. Perhaps we’ll look into fostering someone for a while. (And if we fall in love, then so be it!)

    I have been to several pet stores that put their kitties down when they reach a certain age. I have adopted two cats that way. In fact, I have adopted more cats from “kill” shelters than I have “no-kill” shelters.

    I wish more folks would look into neutering and spaying their own pets as well as the ones living on the street. If I knew of someone willing to do it, I would happily give money to a vet to neuter or spay a feral cat. Is that what it would take to make a difference? I feel overwhelmed.


  24. I can highly recommend fostering. Easily one of the best things I have ever done. Though they are hard to give up. So hard they make you cry in your car (or worse, in front of the shelter people when you are handing them over).

    But I suppose if they didn’t make you cry, it wouldn’t be as worthwhile.

    Pet stores with adoptable animals are not my cup of tea (unless they come from the humane society, like many pet stores here). But that said, if I had all of the money (and space) in the world I would adopt every animal in those pet store windows to get them “off display” and out of line to be put down for the next “cute little thing” that the store owner thinks will sell. Ugh.


  25. See, Robyn, they aren’t my cup of tea either. In fact, I wish they didn’t exist. I think it’s awful that they turn profit off animal sales. Selling animal goods is fine, but actually selling animals is terrible, imo. And what sucks is that they always get me. I feel horrible for those animals at pet stores, which is why I always try and adopt them or find someone to do so.

    Seriously, that whole thing should be outlawed. You should not be able to sell animals at a store for profit, besides fish, maybe. It’s crap.

    I’m getting worked up.


  26. i’ll leave the shelter debate to others who think about things more thoroughly than i do. i just want to say, DO IT! DO IT! DO DO DO DO DO IT! GET ANOTHER KITTY; WASTE NO TIME! DOOOOOOO IT!

    there’s no bad time for a new kitty.
    ridiculously impulsive in Salt Lake


  27. Cats need to morn also. Another cat will not be Schmitty. Give yourselves a few months….like until the baby comes. Give Tucker time to adjust to the new baby…and it will be an adjustment even for him. Hello from sunny Las Vegas!


  28. Just to add to no-kill vs ‘kill’ debate: I don’t think the so-called kill shelters are necessarily bad places, not at all. I had a truly wonderful experience at the place I adopted Simon from in Austin, which essentially functions as the city pound, due to to many animals and too few adopters (here is an article about some of the training techniques they’re currently employing to increase adoption in the NYT Mag—sorry, it’s already archived, though, so you’d have to pay to read it:

    Simon had heartworms when he came in and nobody was interested in adopting him but rather than put him down they foot the bill for expensive treatment and continued to pay for follow-up treatments even after I adopted him a month later. The reason I went to them in the first place was, not knowing anything about shelters but definitely wanting a shelter dog, wasa because I read something online that said, “Town Lake Animal Center is a kill shelter, so try here first.” I just did what I was told and am so glad I did.

    That said, of course, it’s wonderful to be able to adopt somebody who would just be languishing in a no-kill shelter for the rest of their lives. No matter how good the conditions, it’s not the same as sharing a warm bed with a human at night!

    Sorry this comment is so long!


  29. I knew my mother would stop by. ;]

    I’m not even sure where the kill shelters are here in NYC. I guess I could do a little research. The biggest obstacle right now, however, is I can’t go to Barc and look around because I can’t be near unfamiliar cat poop while pregnant. So, even if I wanted to walk over there today and get a cat, I can’t. Toby could, but the last time I sent him in we ended up with Tucker. hahah


  30. Re: flickr – hooray! Now I don’t have to give you a wedgie! ;)


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