Saturday, October 31, 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Home safely from our wonderful trip to Florida!!!!
I'll blog more tons to do to get re-organized but, suffice it to say, we had a great time BUT are happy to be home. The cats seem glad to see us (they sure caused some ruckus while we were gone, ask Uncle Jon!) and I'll go get Lucy this afternoon.
Once life settles down, I'll blog about our trip!
Mrs. B

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fun in Orlando

As always, I'll follow up our trip with a few posts about our adventures. In the meantime, here are several pictures from yesterday, our first day at the International Food and Food Festival at Epcot.

Weather: Couldn't make up its mind from full on blazing sunny hot to breezy, overcast and a bit sprinkly. Actually, this made for a very pleasant day as it did not get too hot.
Food: So far, so good. We've a lot more to sample but the hits yesterday were Argentina (empanadas) and Germany (sausage in a pretzel roll).
Drink: Margaritas in Mexico, Tangerine Mimosa Royales in Morocco, several Rieslings from Austria and Germany, and, for Mr. B, BEER from wherever (FYI for my Father, there is Singha in Thailand!) Also, pints of Strong Bow at The Rose and Crown in England.

Rides: Test Track in Epcot (Mr. B and I went on a kick-ass ride at Animal Kingdom Monday, too; which really surprised me (that it was kick-ass, that is); a cross between the Matterhorn and Thunder Mountain)); we haven't been on many rides yet.
Shopping: Mickey Mouse earrings and a real cool Tinker Bell baseball cap (see below). Peri MIGHT go back for that Grumpy hat, too (also see below).

We're heading back over to The Magic Kingdom (which shut down early last night for some Halloween Party that we did not care to go to) and then back over to the food and wine festival.
Needless to say, we're having great fun here with our pals Peri and Michael; although, in the back of my mind, I AM wondering if our five "children" have destroyed our house/are driving their Uncle Jon and Aunt Shannon out of their minds!
Mrs. B

Friday, October 16, 2009

Our Path to Five Cats Part Two: Fostering The Greek Gang

As previously mentioned, I kept in touch with Pete and Lily's foster mom; occasionally sending her updates/pictures of The Twins (her name for them, not mine). When we went to Petsmart to get Lucy, Pete and Lily's picture taken with Santa, Christy's husband Brian WAS Santa. That was an amusing adventure, by the way; trying to get two kittens and one prancy dog to look at the camera at all at once. Well, they didn't so we ended up with two separate pictures that I sliced together to make one decent shot. We were not supposed to be in the picture, either, but Santa couldn't manage all three (I wonder what THIS year's photo shoot will be like?)
Lily would not look (in this shot)

At one point early this past Spring, Christy asked me if we'd consider fostering kittens because, "You'd be a perfect foster home!" Yeah, right. But, over time, I started thinking about it more and more; another adventure, something else to experience. So, after we got back from our anniversary trip to Charleston, Christy and Brian came over to a) see Pete and Lily (who hissed at them, go figure) and b) talk to us about fostering.
Long story short, we decided to give it a whirl. Mr. B, however, made me promise up front that we WOULD NOT adopt any of the kittens we were about to foster. I promised (oops).
Christy had a litter of kittens in mind for us; a batch that were not too young (they wouldn't require bottle feeding or dosing for worms...ugh) but WOULD require a lot of attention because they'd been found in a storm drain at IBM (what IS it about kittens and storm drains, anyway?) at seven weeks and they were borderline feral. She told me there was one in particular who was going to really need extra special attention because he was terribly, terribly shy. In fact, she was so concerned about him that she was considering handing him over to Sue (the owner of Hobbes House), who obviously had a lot more experience dealing with this situation than the B's. In the end, though, we all decided he'd be better off coming along with his siblings.
Ok, true confessions here; one of the things I was most looking forward to about this whole deal was naming them. Obviously I knew it was likely that their forever home would change their names (after all, we changed Pete and Lily's (they'd been part of "The Scooby Gang")) but, still, what fun! Mr. B and I tossed ideas around and finally decided on Greek Gods as the organization prefers the kittens to be named things in sets or groups so that they can refer to them as such; "Make sure you bring The Greeks Saturday!" or, "Hey, how many of those bean cats do you have left (Lima, Pinto, Cocoa, etc.)?" BTW, even though I have NO intention of fostering ever again, I still come up with cute names for groups of kittens.
So, we'd be getting three boys and two girls. Mr. B and I decided on: Zeus, Hera, Ares, Athena and Apollo (I wanted to be true to Greek mythology and use Artemis instead of Athena (Artemis and Apollo were twins) but Mr. B did not like Artemis and since he was putting up with this whole fostering thing, I acquiesced). We'd assign each kitten their name once we got to know their personalities a bit.
Even I am not sure who is who in this picture, although I am pretty sure Athena is right up front

The Greek Gang arrived on a rainy Thursday in early June. Before they came, we'd prepared our middle guest bedroom for them; removed the big dresser, but a small night stand in the closet (this is where the cat box went), put plastic sheeting on the bed and an old comforter on top of it, etc. In hindsight, it really would have been better had we moved the bed out of the room entirely, but, we had no place to store it (as it was, the big dresser stood out in the upstairs hallway for several months).
They were so tiny (9 weeks at that point) that all five of them fit inside a small cat carrier. Most of them were huddled together in the back but one of them looked out at me and gave me a little hiss (turns out this was "Shy Boy"). After we got the cat box and food and water set up and toys scattered around (and the door shut), Christy let them out where they immediately made a bee-line for underneath the bed (the primary reason why the bed should have been removed; it definitely made it more difficult to get at them/made it easier for them to prolong their socialization).
After Christy left, I put a baby-gate on the outside of the bedroom door to keep them from running out when I opened the door up (although at that point, this seemed an unlikely prospect given their sheer terror). Pete and Lily immediately went over to the door and started to sniff about. I went downstairs to ponder our new responsibilities.
In addition to providing food, shelter, care, love and affection, we'd have to take them to get fixed at 12 weeks (plus rabies and other shots). A week after that, they'd be given the green-light to go to Adopt-A-Thons, "Thons" for short. Thons happen every Saturday and Sunday, 3 hours each day, at the same Petsmart where I first met Pete and Lily and Hobbes House. They asked that we commit to at least three per month, but, obviously, the more you attend, the quicker the kittens will get adopted (ha ha ha). So, three weeks before they were due to get fixed and 4 weeks before their first Thon, our primary responsibility was to get them SOCIALIZED. I mean, people are not likely to adopt a kitten that hisses, shies away, runs away, won't allow itself to be petted or picked up, won't purr, etc.(that is, most people except yours truly).
With them all huddled under the bed refusing to come out, this seemed like quite a tall order indeed!

The one who will be Zeus emerges as the fearless leader (the next day)

To be continued after we return from Orlando...
Mrs. B

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Here are the pictures I mentioned earlier of Lucy hanging out with her "cousins" and playing with her Frisbee. Photos courtesy of Analee!
Mrs. B

5 + Goosie = Ours

Hanging out yesterday in our nice warm sunny sunroom! Analee took some fantastic pictures of Lucy a few Sundays ago; I'll get them posted because they are definitely worth sharing!
Mrs. B

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Our Path To Five Cats Part One: Pete and Lily

Seriously, folks, we never intended to own five cats! I mean, I remember a lady who lived on (or near) our street when I was a very young child who had what seemed like hundreds of cats roaming around her house and property (and the neighborhood). In fact, she had so many cats that they took over the house and she slept outside. I kid you not. So, yeah, The Crazy Cat Lady I did not aspire to be! Like life, though, it just sorta happened (the five cat thing, not the crazy part). And here is how.
After Clyde passed away, we waited a bit more than six months to adopt Pete and Lily. Even then, this wasn't necessarily planned. While we were on vacation in California, I remember talking a bit about whether the time was right with a few friends. More than one said, "Yeah, you'll have them soon". Mr. B quipped, "Probably by the end of the first week we're home".
In fairness to MOI, it wasn't that fast (but close). I was out the weekend after we got home running around taking care of errands and such. I went to this huge outdoor mall (Brier Creek) to get a few things and, oh boy howdy, there were cat and kitten adoptions going on at the Petsmart! I went to the Hallmark store next door and then to Michael's on the other side. I kept telling myself, "Don't go in, don't go in, don't go in". But, hey, who was I fooling? I was ready. So, in I went and within a few moments had been introduced to Pete and Lily, as well as their foster mom Christy and other folks from Hobbes House. There were many other kittens and cat there but I was drawn to them because a) they were right up front b) they were absolutely adorable c) they were siblings and d) they were the last of the litter (their two brothers and one sister having already been adopted). Christy shared a lot of information with me about them; where they'd come from (a storm drain in Fuquay-Varina), that she'd bottle fed them, that Lily (she called her Velma) was her particular favorite, that Pete (then named Scooby) was little pissy (somethings have not changed), and that she'd REALLY love it if they "went home" (Hobbes House lingo) together. I told them I had to talk to Mr. B about it and left. BTW, now that I've done the fostering/pet adoption drill myself, I know it is highly unusual for someone who leaves without filling out an application right then and there to ever surface again. Believe me, I learned this!
Well, most of this tale y'all already know. It's just sorta fun recalling it understanding both sides of the coin; prospective new family and Hobbes House/foster parents.
Like, for instance, I got grilled up one side down the other regarding my statement on their application that I might let them outside but only if they were leashed or supervised. Bad thing to say (again, I know NOW) to an organization that strongly believes no cat should ever be outside, especially not ones who have been rescued/a lot of money/time and effort has been spent on them to turn them into social, happy, INDOOR kitties. I mean, I think they are more hard over on this than they are the whole declawing thing (another story). But, they don't come out and say that when you are expressing interest in a cat or kitten; they wait for you to hang yourself by putting it on your application. As a matter of fact, if a person indicates that they intend to make the cat an indoor/outoor, it is cause for instant rejection. I agree with this stance 90% of the time but sometimes what it may come down to for a poor cat that's been fostered for several years (and its foster mom or dad) that it might just have a better life living in and out of doors with a loving family than locked up in a bedroom or confined to a cage every weekend.
Obviously, though, we prevailed with the application (funny, I later found out that Christy lets her own personal cats outside supervised!) and were approved to adopt Pete and Lily. We went to get them on November 15th. I swear to God, I thought Christy was going to have an emotional melt down when she handed Lily over to me.
Pete and Lily the day we brought them home

Probably because of this; I felt so sorry for her (she'd BEGGED her husband Brian to let her keep Lily but he refused since they already had four of their own + a ton of fosters in various stages of socialization) so I promised her I'd keep in touch, send pictures, give her updates on their status, etc. Which I did. And, because of this, that led to the next part of the story, fostering The Greek Gang.
Mrs. B
The picture of The Crazy Cat Lady is actually a picture of an action figure; you know, sorta like GI Joe or Barbie or something.
Don't anyone get ideas about what I might need for Christmas :-)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Busy Busy Busy Busy

I've really been BUSY! Busy having fun, too. So, the good kind of busy!
Friday, Margot arrived for a long weekend visit. We spent Saturday at the World Beer Festival with Mr. B and Jon, Shannon and the girls. What a lovely day (if a bit on the warm side). The restored (original) Durham Bulls ball park looks great. We sampled some wonderful beers (no real duds this time). After, we went out to eat at a local Mexican place where I had the best chimichangas (maybe because I was starving). HUGE, too; I could only eat one of them.
Sunday we had family over for pot roast. Four children (three mobile) + Lucy and our five cats meant for a hectic but fun atmosphere.
Monday Margot and I did our shopping thing; Trader Joe's, Southern Season, etc. That night I hosted book club so we had to rush home from shopping to prepare for that. We had 7 ladies over (plus us) so a full house that was rockin' by the time Mr. B came in around 9:30 (from having dinner with The Kid).
Yesterday, Margot and I headed over to the Nasher Museum of Art (at Duke) to see the Picasso exhibit (2nd time for me). We also had lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant that had received an excellent review in the paper. It WAS tasty and a heck of a lot of food!
Margot left around 8:30 this morning and I fell back into bed, still exhausted AND resting up for the next few days:
Tonight, I'm going to see "Grease" at the new performing arts center with Shannon.
Tomorrow I have a DSO Board meeting (always exhausting).
I'm meeting mom Friday for an afternoon of lunch and shopping.
Looks like a quiet weekend but next week I have a DSO event on Tuesday and will be gearing up for our trip to Florida!
So, if I'm not blogging, you'll understand why!
Mrs. B

Saturday, October 3, 2009

At the World Beer Festival Durham NC!


This was about 1/2 way through the four hours we were there. As usual, some fantastic beers!

Although I just realized I look like a bug with these sunglasses on :-)

Mrs. B