Saturday, May 3, 2008

Saturday Night

...Yeah, maybe I *am* the crazy cat lady. It's 10:30 on a Saturday night and I'm updating my blog which is all about cats. Oh well.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it: Look through the pictures in the Flickr Set and figure out how many Orange Cats there are. I took pictures of two today, I think (not including Little Orange who is pretty easy to differentiate): Bozo (of the big nose), and another that I don't recall specifically seeing before. Which means, if my count is right, the Orange Cats consist of at least: Bozo (big nose), Little Orange (white tummy, and small), Gandolf (droopy whiskers), Pastel (dilute orange tabby), and the one I saw today, who looks grumpy. I think there might actually be one more, a rather skinny looking one-- but that might just be Gandolf seen from a different angle. There are two unknowns in the sets I took today-- or is there only one?! I cannot tell! Arg!

As you may have guessed, the Flickr Set is updated with another 27 pictures taken today. Cats include: the above mentioned Unknown Orange (or two?!), Little Grey Girl, Pigpen, Cyrano, Calico, Bozo, Dilute Tortie, Daisy and Bessie. Not a bad collection for the day, although I suppose when there are 20 cats living in one area you're bound to see a goodly number of them at any given time...

It's weird to me that I see some all the time (like Daisy), and some are so very elusive (like Splotch. There's only one picture of him in the Flickr set, here. I saw him Thursday, but couldn't get his picture.) But I assume that's just because some are more wary of humans than others.

Oh! Speaking of clever catses, Little Grey Girl is a smart one! When the food dish (which is kept on the landing between the 2nd and 3rd floors of my building-- the stairs are outdoors) is empty, she sits in the grass and watches the landing. Then, when I come out to fill it she sees me, and comes up to eat once I've disappeared. I've seen her do this twice, so I don't think that this is just coincidence.

There may or may not be an update tomorrow (Sunday), just so you know. I shall try, but the paper I'm (sort of) writing may have eaten me by then.

Also, one last SQUEEEEE! for the day, for making our goal and then some! Actually, and then a lot some. You guys rock. You're incredible. Huzzah!

Lastly, the Brownies of Doom are up to 247. Tamnonlinear has promised another batch (another 3 sets of prizes) if we hit 300. Place your raffle tickets!

We did it!!!

I'll post a whole lot more later on (I've got more pictures after all!) but I wanted to let you know that we have surpassed the goal of $1000!!! This is wonderful! The cats, who are of course scheduled for surgery on the 12th and 13th of this month, will all be paid for!!

Thank you thank you thank you thank you!!!!!

Funds raised above and beyond that $1000 mark will continue to go towards the care of the cats. If we catch more than 20, for example (which is possible, given that I still can't tell some of them apart), or for any others that show up (which is unlikely, given that cats are territorial, but still, a possibility); as well as for unforseen expenditures (cats who, it turns out, are sick when we catch them, for example), and for the continuing care and management of this colony (you would not believe how much food they go through in a week.)

SO! That's the great news! Actually it's *wonderful* news! And it's all because of your incredible generosity!

You should feel free, however, to keep entering The Raffle if you wish, because there are amazing prizes there, some still going without tickets to them, and the money will definitely still go to help these feral cats. I scheduled the raffle to go until the 11th (Sunday, a week from now) and it seems unfair to anyone wishing for a chance at these fantastic prizes to end it any sooner. I'm just, y'know, not going to hound you all for donations anymore, 'cause WE DID IT!!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Startling Conclusions! (And other updates)

I came to two rather startling conclusions about the cat I've been calling Little Grey. The first is that Little Grey has something living inside of him-- either a terrible case of worms (possibly extraterrestrial, to make his belly look *this* big), or, as is more likely, little cats, making him a her.

Why was this so shocking, knowing that Bessie is pregnant, and Daisy might be, too? Kitten season is pretty much here, after all. Well, it was surprising because of how little Little Grey seems to be. How could I have missed something like this, I wondered. In yesterday's Flickr update I even commented on how odd it seemed that Little Grey could make himself look so big in some of the pictures.

Well, that led me to a lot of intent staring at photos and startling conclusion number 2: I've been calling two smallish grey cats "Little Grey." ::blink:: Well, I feel silly. But now you see why I've been taking photographs!! So there is the Gray Tabby who is pregnant and has a white blaze on her face, and there is the smaller Gray Tabby who is shyer and always looks a bit crooked, somehow. So many things make more sense to me now!!

<---(Not the same cat!)-->

(Don't even get me started on my inability to tell you how many orange cats and moo-cow cats there are. I'm still working on that question.)

Hm, so that puts my cat estimate a bit higher. Good thing we're still raising money! (Remember, the Raffle goes until 5/11! Buy your tickets now! And remember to tell me how you want them allocated!!)

In other news: the Happy Divorce Brownies of Doom have not quite reached 200 tickets, but very close. These delights have somehow become nearly legendary-- I was stopped in the hall today on campus by a friend who had donated money/bought raffle tickets and wondered if there was any way to get the inside scoop on these brownies. (There isn't, don't worry. I'll be using a random number generator to choose winners for all the Raffle prizes.)

As per usual, I have updated the Flickr set. 11 new pictures today (cats were being shy this afternoon, even though I went out at two separate times) including Little Grey (the pregnant one), Daisy, Bozo, Calico and the Dilute Tortie. (Either the Dilute Tortie or Daisy has been sponosored by Shadesong and her family, I should mention (hurrah! Thank you!) but I'm still unclear as to which pretty kitty they wanted to sponsor. You can sponsor a cat, too, if you like, but donating $50 or more. You'll get individual updates about 'your' long distance feral pet, especially during the TNR process, as well as lots of pictures. (Not all the picture I take, after all, end up on the Flickr site.)

I didn't really get to speak to the apartment complex's management today, but I did give them a 2 page report on what's been done so far, from planning, to fund-raising, to scheduling the actual TNR (see previous entry for more details on that.) I also asked, in said update, for a space for the cats' aftercare (some place air-conditioned or shaded and able to be cooled by fan, someplace away from passers-by, protected, and able to house a whole lot of cats in traps overnight.) It would be better to be able to keep the cats somewhere close to their home (it'll help with the release, after all.)

More importantly, the volunteer (from AzCATs) who will be helping me with this Giant Endeavor gave me a call as well. This was great, because for all of the Scheduler's helpfulness, I was feeling a bit adrift about this process. (I've read all sorts of things about TNR on the interwebs and Tamnonlinear is a fabulous resource, but still, y'know?) Anyway, he's going to be sending me some information, and we'll touch base again before the actual trapping, and then he'll be here to bring me traps and help on the 11th. So, there's a plan. A plan is good.

I've also emailed a few local friends to ask if they'd be willing to help. However, those friends are all Teaching Assistants/Associates, and therefore finishing their semester's grading as well as their own graduate schoolwork and therefore have not gotten back to me.

And as I, too, am a TA, I should get back to non-cat related things now. This has been your Thursday update. :)


"My, you're a persistent one, aren't you?" the apartment manager asked when I had shown up at her office for the third time in one afternoon, having been sent off the two times previous with promises of "Later." I smiled sheepishly, but obviously this is a project I care about deeply. My persistence worked then; I was granted permission to TNR the colony.

And it has worked now. I just spoke with the scheduler for AzCATs and we are a go. May 11th (a Sunday), we will be doing our best to catch the vast majority of the colony. While other TNR-experienced people have expressed surprise at the attempt to get all the cats in one swoop, I'm just going to go with it, since that's what this group does. We'll see what happens, I guess!

I'm all on my own to catch the stragglers on the 12th, though. Eek!

(There's a nearby clinic being held on the 12th and 13th, you see, which will spay/neuter the cats for a much smaller fee than usual. And the clinic is willing to work with ferals.)

So the current problem is where to put the cats for their aftercare. Eek. I have a bit of time to negotiate with management on that one-- in my Project-Cat Week 1 Report I have requested any space they might have in which to keep the cats for 24 hours, still in their traps of course, while they recover from surgery and anesthesia.

Anyway, we are a go. And how wonderful that I'll be trapping (with help) the same evening that the Raffle ends! It's kismet, perhaps!

Brownies of DOOM

Raffle prize #2, which is to say Tamnonlinear's Brownies of Doom, (also known as chocolate overload creme de menthe killer death divorce brownies of doom) have garnered an incredible amount of interest in this raffle so far. In fact, 171 tickets have been put towards the three sets currently available.

But Tam is a wonderful person, and has agreed to offer another batch (which is to say 3 more prizes!) if the ticket numbers break 200. She's considering an experimental raspberry version. [Oh my goodness, that's what *I* want! :D]

So, buy your tickets, place 'em where you like, and remember the brownies!!

Caveat: Brownies can only be shipped in the Continental US. (If you're outside the US but would like to put your tickets towards these brownies to be sent to someone *else* inside the continental US, that'd be fine.)

Raffle Update, and Cat Pictures

Man, I should totally start updating earlier in the day because I'm exhausted. One thing I did manage to get done today, however, was get lots of pictures of the colony cats-- 29 pictures added to the Flickr set! This batch includes Little Grey, Little Orange, Daisy, Dilute Tortie, Bessie, Calico and the elusive Pigpen! (I did see the Mysterious Grey Cat again today, but I came across him accidentally, while on the phone, so I didn't get his picture.)

The Raffle is doing really well, thanks to all of you, although there are still a few items without a single ticket towards them.

I know it's probably quite bad form to add prizes when the Raffle has already started, but this was too good to pass up. It's another prize for BOSTON PEOPLE ONLY: a Sunday reiki session in Somerville, MA. This is now prize #38. If you want to move tickets that you've already purchased to this prize, that seems only fair, since it was added late, so just go ahead and get in touch with me, you wonderful Boston area peoples.

Next, an update on one of the prizes, #8, the Duckie Stitch Markers by Medusa's Mirror. There are 5 duckie markers, and a pewter charm that says "Love." They'll fit up to a size 10.5 needle. Come on you marvy knitters, you know you want this prize. :D

And that's all of today's news, methinks. I'll let you know how talking with AzCATs tomorrow goes, to ask for an update regarding scheduling. And I'll be updating my apartment complex as well, telling them where we stand on this project, and mentioning all of you guys, you wonderful donors and sponsors and lovers of cats.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Short Update

The Raffle is going strong, and I'm very pleased. :) Remember, though, if you haven't told me yet what prizes you want your tickets to be considered for, you need to do that. And there are still a lot of prizes without anyone going for them yet, so there's a very good chance that if you enter the raffle you may win the prize of your dreams! (Or at least the prize you put your tickets on.)

I have updated the Flickr Set with another 20 pictures, taken today. These mainly include Little Orange, Daisy, Bessie, Little Grey and a Mysterious New Cat. Check 'em out. Mysterious New Cat is quite the handsome devil and seemed to be fond of Daisy.

I'll be getting back in touch with AzCATs again in the next few days (if they don't contact me sooner) to tell them how close we are in fundraising, and to ask them how close we are to having people come and help with the TNR. I'll also be giving a report on all this to my apartment management either tomorrow or Thursday.

I know I have a few emails to answer, and I promise I'm not falling down on the job! I'm just very tired and will take care of them tomorrow when I'm fresher.

As always, questions? concerns? allocating raffle tickets? Comment here or email me at

Monday, April 28, 2008

Raffle Update -- Greeting Cards!

Willedit has created some truly exquisite cards for The Raffle. They're amazing-- check out the level of detail! Click on the images to make them bigger, then buy raffle tickets! :D It's an assortment of 12 greetings- from "Thank you" to "Gnome Sweet Gnome." (These are #9 on the Raffle List.)

Eeeeee! Robot!

In other news, there will be, sadly, no new cat pictures today. On Mondays the apartment complex mows the lawns and generally makes much noise, so the cats stay hidden in the mornings. Then I won't be home tonight 'til after dark, so alas, there will be no pictures. Tomorrow, however, is a different story. :)

(I am, however, monitoring emails, comments and donations, so feel free to buy raffle tickets!)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Late Night News & Updates

First, THE RAFFLE is now live. Go forth and purchase tickets. (Be sure to tell me what you want them to go towards!!) Pass this site along to everyone you know so that other can enter!!

Second, the kitties didn't want to let me take their pictures today. I managed to find 9 of them at once tonight, but by then it was 7:30 and the light was fading so all I managed were blurs. Still, I did get a few good ones of one of the orange cats and of Bozo. Check out the Flickr Set as per usual. :)

Oh! And the highest donor will receive a special incentive type gift! More information on what it will include as it gets figured out. :)

Lastly, if you've already donated, but want to buy tickets, please let me know!!


So, here it is, the moment you've all been waiting for: THE RAFFLE.

Here's how it works: Tickets cost $1. ($10 gets you 11 tickets, and $20 gets you 25.) Next you need to let me know what you want your tickets to go towards. Feel free to put them all towards one prize item, or split them up.

(Questions? Concerns? email me:

Be sure to read over all the prizes-- there are new ones at the bottom! Most of the images below have the watermarked on them, but those are not on the originals. (I probably didn't need to mention that, but thought better safe than sorry...)


1. Summer Reading Bundle-- 6 Romance novels by various authors, in nearly new condition: One Sinful Night, Kaitlin O'Riley; Sixpence Bride, Virginia Farmer; A Most Unsuitable Groom, Kasey Michaels; How to Engage an Earl, Kathryn Caskie; Seduction is Forever, Jenna Petersen; Wicked, Shannon Drake; The Perfect Wife, Victoria Alexander.

2. Brownies of Doom-- Seriously, these aren't just any brownies, these are brownies made by Tamnonlinear which are both epic and infamous. You can read more about them here. There will be three sets of these, so three chances to win!! Caveat: These can only be shipped in the Continental US. Each set equals 18 brownies.

3. Herbal Dream Pillow-- Made by the inimitable Xiane, to, as she puts it, "dream about happy kitties!"

4. Alice in Wonderland Stickers-- Hand drawn, then scanned in and printed, then hand colored using water color pencils. The stickers in the image have not yet been cut.

5. Framed Landscape Diptych by Arkstangent.

6. $50 Gift Certificate for Custom Jewelry by Kythryne of Wyrding Studios. This is for custom work (not premade and already in the shop) and for work done by Kythryne herself (not by the other artists at Wyrding.)

7. Hand knit purple-y Fox-Cat Creature (stuffed)-- by me.

8. Duckie Stitch Markers by Medusa's Mirror. 5 lampwork duckie beads on rings that will fit up to a size 9 needle.

9. A Dozen Handmade Greeting Cards by Willedit, in assorted sentiments.

10. Custom Story or Poem by Shadesong, author of Shayara.

11. A Bagsket by Oddharmonic. (Two available!) made in the winners' choices of colorways. (This is a bagsket.)

12. A 6x6x6" Fabric Box in Mary Englebreit prints by Oddharmonic.

13. A Handmade Collage Pendant made by Shadesong.

14. A Quart of Scrap-booking Materials -- new materials in a full quart-sized ziploc baggie.

15. A Harcover copy of The Space Child's Mother Goose -- donated by Oddharmonic. You can read more about this awesome looking book here.

16. Gently Worn Hanna Andersson long-sleeve playdress and a pair of opposite stripe leggings in size 110 (about a girls' 5 or 6), orchid/cool pink stripe.

17 . Custom hat by Emilytheslayer -- As described in her own words: Everyone needs a hat! Now you can get one made to your measurements, in your favorite colors or in the nerdy theme of your choice! You send me your measurements (or those of someone you want a hat made for), what colors you want, or what nerdy hat you want, and fiber issues, and I knit it up and send it to you. This is supposed to be a fairly quick thing for me, so I'm not going to promise a lot of crazy colorwork or anything huge and complicated, but I will do: stripes, team colors, Harry Potter house colors, JAYNE HAT, Life Aquatic Team Zissou cap, something else you can think of that I would certainly be willing to discuss. I'm not going to spend a lot of money on luxury yarn for this, but I will do my best to work with you on any fiber allergies or sensitivities (No alpaca because that's MY allergy :) ). Wool does not itch, my favorite yarn for hats is a wool/mohair blend that is cheap and comes in a huge variety of colors, but is slightly itchy (it's the mohair), but I have testimonials from at least five people who swear it's not bad.

18. Stick Figure Theatre Presents: Shakespeare of Your Choice-- I'm not entirely sure how to describe this. Suffice it to say that sometimes I draw snarky stick figure cartoons of movies, or television shows, or most often, of romance novels. If you win this prize, I will draw a Stick Figure Theatre of your choice of Shakespearean play, any one of the 37. (We can negotiate over another early modern play, if you wish...) You can see some of my early work in the BlakeToons. I recommend the DS:9 "blake-isode." These were created a long time ago, and using MSPaint. I draw in pen now, but it'll give you an idea of the, uh, humor, and, heh, style.

19. Hand-knit Organic Catnip Filled Cat Toy shaped like a fish. Made by me.

20. Custom Mermaid Doll like the one you can see here by Jennifer St. Clair.

21. 3-Pack of Assorted Handknit Catnip filled Cat-toys by LJ's Rubrchick. She's very kindly agreed to make two sets available! Twice the possibility of winning this!

22. Custom Knit Stuffed Cat, also by Rubrchick. She's offered to make the kitty to match the coloring of your cat, perhaps, or maybe of one you've sponsored... :)

23. Handmade Kitty Print by LJ's Redzshadow. She says it's inspired by this feral colony.

24. Small origami cat, framed also by Redzshadow.

25. Custom piece of cat-themed Jewelry, made of pure brass and Czech glass, created by Etsy's Pretty In Peace.

26. Promotional CDs from Next Dimension Music.

27. Any One Item from Etsy's Carlykinsboutique. "Hair accessories for the Princess in your life!"

28. Bundle of Manga: 6 books of manga: Pearl Pink #1, Meca Tanaka; Nosatsu Junkie #1, Ryoko Fukuyama; Blank #1, Pop Mhan; Zapt!, Shannon Denton & Keith Giffen; Mugan Spiral #1, Mizuho Kusanagi;Recast #1, Seung-Hui Kye. All of the manga is rated Teen: 13+ , except Zapt! which is rated 8-12, and Blank which is rated 16+

29. Creepy Cute Crochet: Zombies, Ninjas, Robots, and More! by Christen Haden of NeedleNoodles. In hardcover, no less! See the Amazon page.

30. Crochet Scarf in Green & Beige, acrylic yarn

31. Crochet Scarf in Pink & Beige, acrylic yarn

32. Copper & Bead Bracelet by Medusas's Mirror.

33. Wandering Womb Stickers by Blergeatkitty. The ancient Greeks (and therefore everyone in the middle ages, through the early modern period and lasting rather far into the Victorian period) believed that hysteria, and a number of other female issues, were caused by the womb wandering about in a woman's body. This amused Blerg and I a great deal, and she created these stickers. Take back your womb!

34. Black & White Portrait by Arkstangent, in an antique frame.

35. Set of Body Products by Sweetgracieforme in scent of your choice. Set includes
foaming body meringue, a whipped body butter, and a moisturizing body dew.

36. Set of 8 Cat Stickers drawn by me, then hand colored with water color pencils. (Image is of the stickers uncut.)

37. BOSTON AREA ONLY: A Place at a Soul Collage Workshop, held on June 14th (date pending confirmation). For more information, visit the website.

38. BOSTON AREA ONLY: A Sunday Reiki Session in Somerville, MA.