Monday, July 21, 2008


We got up early this morning - it helps that the neighbors across the street are cutting and bale-ing their hay cuz the huge equipment is LOUD and it's summer so our windows are open letting in the full sound effect. The hay guy likes to get started at O'Dark Thirty.

We groan, get up and let the dogs out while we scratch, stumble around and avoid each other's morning breath. We've done this every morning for the past 8 years with no incident...

Furry Husband opens the door to let the pooches in to eat their breakfast. WHA -- WHOA! He slams the door in their little furry faces. "Honey. I think the dogs got sprayed by a skunk."

I think he's wrong cuz anyone that would THINK they got sprayed...well, it's probably some passing skunk or maybe a dog farted or I go to the door - all bossiness like he doesn't know what in the hell he's doing. Not sure when I turned into such a bossy wifey?

I open the door. Oh, good lord. They did get sprayed.

Our little cattle dog mix, Bequia (pronounced Beck-way), has this yellow discoloration on her chest/shoulder and she's drooling, has beady red eyes and is shaking her head. Sammy, our border collie mix is almost as stinky as little Bequia. The only dog untouched is our Gordon Setter, Booker. (HA! and people tell me he's stoo-pid)

I go to the internet and look up skunk spray neutralizer recipies. Found one involving peroxide, baking soda and some liquid soap posted by some chemist in AZ talking about changing the compounds of the skunk liquid. Fine. Sounds good. Furry Husband goes to the store to get the peroxide. Lucky for us we were up at the butt crack o' dawn... he arrives 40 min later, we mix up the solution and douse the dogs. It takes the smell right out. Or so I think.

We got home last night and there is this faint skunk smell everywhere. The dogs don't smell like they did - your eyes don't water standing next to them. You can be in the same room with them but there is this definate skunk odor.

I HATE skunks. I like the live and let live motto with wildlife... but skunk odor is so offensive to me that I HATE them. If I knew how to shoot a gun, I'd shoot every skunk I saw. I might actually GET a damn gun and learn firearm safety for the sole purpose of killing skunks. I secretly cheer when I see them dead on the road. "HA! Take that you stanky ass little bugger! Die you rotten, smelly things, DIE!"

Now our house smells like skunk. I'm stopping at the feed store tonight to buy some "Skunk Out". We'll try another treatment on the dogs tonight. We leave tomorrow for the Midwest...we hired a brand new pet sitter. Nice. She is gonna come stay at our house and it stinks like skunk. Should make for a memorable stay.

We have a lot of trouble finding pet sitters. Most people don't have any trouble throwing hay to horses or feeding dogs and cats....but you ask them to milk a goat? Scares 99.5% of them right off. Needless to say, we do not travel often.

Some are brave enough to come once and they never come back. One girl came out and our doe, Spot, would NOT be caught. Wouldn't come out of the pen - not for grain, not for treats - not nuthin'. From the day we got back this girl said she'd never come to our house again and I think she now carries a burning hatred of all things caprine (you know, bovine = cows, porcine = pigs...) She turns and walks the other way - FAST- when she sees us coming.

When goats don't wanna be caught...they keep juuuuust out of reach and they keep something in between you and them. You run around in circles chasing the damn goat. Spot must know we are leaving cuz she decided in the last two days she wasn't coming out of the pen...

It's no trouble for me cuz Furry Husband is there to help - but for this new pet sitter? By herself? Sigh. We'll pick up some Ritz crackers on the way home... Spot loves Ritz crackers. I hope she loves them well enough to behave for the new sitter.

See Spot run. Run Spot Run. *%#@!*^ Spot.

Friday, July 18, 2008

No phone calls yet

After my last post...well, everything is going to seem pretty lame. I'm still waiting for Meow Mix to call. It's become a running joke between Furry Husband and myself...he calls me and I say excitedly "Are you calling because Meow Mix called?!" or when Barista called me the other night I answered saying "Is this Meow Mix? Did I win?!"

Mojo remains very unimpressed and is happy to be back home dominating everything and everyone. He has several monikers.

Kong cuz wherever he is he just knocks everything down - sorta like in the movies where Kong is batting airplanes out of the sky? Yeah, that is Mojo.

Or I will call him Brutus - as in the Popeye character who runs around terrorizing Sweet Pea and Olive Oyl NOT nearly the intellectually stimulating Julius Ceasar character.

And maybe a more endearing nickname for Mojo is Mr. Nipples. Being a black cat and lying on his back all the time...well those little pink nipples are out there for prime viewing. People ask me a lot if he's had surgery cuz he has one heck of a treasure trail as well.... Nope. No surgery. It's just Mr. Nipples.

All of our cats have more than one name. I don't know why this occurs? Do other people give their animals more than one name??

Robinella - named after a GREAT band - Robinella and the CC String Band - has morphed into Buzz or Buzzer.

Banana Puddin' - named after the Southern Culture on the Skids song titled the same - has morphed into Pudge or Pudgy.

Punkin' Head - she's orange. Well, guess Punkin' hasn't really changed - only she is so fat she can't properly clean herself and has constant dingleberries. So we've added fatass to her name - Punkin' Fat Ass.

Split Pea Soup - she is now just Split Pea and often Mimi or Meow Meow.

I don't know if you've noticed but many cats are named after food. I didn't realize I named my cats after food until one day I called a pet tag company. I began giving the nice lady the names of each cat for their respective tag.

All of a sudden she began laughing hysterically. I was like - wha??? I had to wait for her to stop the peals of glee and then she said in between giggles ... "All your cats are named after food!" Punkin, Split Pea Soup, Banana Puddin' and, at the time, Meatloaf....

Once it was pointed out to me, I tried to break my odd habit. That's where Mojo and Robinella came in.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Our audition!

Mojo in the back o' the Subaru on his way to Denver to be a star and his roomy set up - litter box and all!

We are home from the audition! I actually think it went really well and we have a shot. As much of a shot as anyone there I suppose.

Furry Husband and I got to the hotel at a little after 8am. Auditions started at 10am. We were the third "cat-testant" pair to get there. Mom and Auntie Anne were already there. Furry Husband left to go play frisbee golf.... at 9am more people came but it wasn't like a huge line or anything.

Someone came out and handed out clip boards with numbers, a waiver, an information sheet to fill out about me and my cat and a 20 question quiz. I made one guess on the quiz about the number of bones in a cat's body. I know I read it on the internet but just couldn't recall what it was. I knew the heart rate and some of the other cat questions - most were really easy.... things like why do cats land on their feet, what are allergic people allergic to in cats, who was the author for Garfield, what was the cats name in Sabrina the Teenage Witch t.v. show...I heard other people saying how hard the quiz was? I might have gotten a couple wrong... who knows. They didn't score it there.
Here I am! Got my number, clipboard and Mojo!
Right around that time, they called us all into this room with chairs and some cafeteria tables in the front - there were 2 people sitting there. They started up an hour early. One no-nonsense sorta severe looking lady from ASPCA or Humane Society and a guy who was bald, with big porkchop sideburns, a flavor-saver goatee thing on his lower lip and lots o' tats on his arms - he was in a sleeveless shirt. So he musta been evaluating the "talent"? And the ASPCA/Humane Society lady was evaluating the cats?? Dunno.

Looks like the room filled up! This is what it looked like on my way out at around 10:30am. The evaluations were waaayy up at the front of the room near that orange and green poster.
Anyway, I'm sitting there - they call the first person up and she is this young woman with a 10 yr old cat and she had a little velcro tie/collar on him. He was fat and old and had old cat fur... you know that sorta greasy clumpy looking fur? He was really mellow tho and I'm sure the tie was really cute. So the 2 people evaluated him and then back in the carrier he went.

Oh - that was the big thing - NO CATS OUT OF THEIR CARRIERS! (unless they were evaluating them) They made it clear that any cat and owner team would be immediately disqualified if the cats were out and about.

Then the next lady went and her cat was mellow and she was friendly and everything. Next up was ME! gulp!

I pull Mojo out and plop him on the table. He is wide-eyed for sure and very tense. He didn't make a mad dash or scratch or hiss or anything but he was sorta bug eyed and crouched down. The 2 people ask if he's nervous and how long he's been in the carrier. I told them it was his "first time off the farm" and we came from Ft. Collins - about 1.5 hrs away but he was o.k. in the car. We put the back seats down and he laid behind us the whole way down.

They were like - "uhhh - he's pretty nervous...." hemming and hawing Then one said, it's not you but we can't have him this nervous... I was all cheerful "oh, it's o.k.! I know - it's just the first time he's been off the farm and I wasn't sure how he'd be. Figured it was worth a shot." I think I probably shrugged and then they say - "well, why don't you put him in the carrier and let him look around for about 10 minutes and we'll see what he does then" So I sit in the front row and let him get a good look at the front of the room and I talk to him and I hoist the carrier up and point it to the back of the room filled with people to let him see. I had asked if he could be out to acclimate but they were quick to say NO.
This is Mojo being very buggy eyed and tense and in a cat carrier for the first time in his life.
Then this lady goes who drove all the way from Salt Lake City, UT. Her cat - a long hair orange tabby is like velcro and stuck to the front of her. Now THAT cat is bug, buggy, BUG-eyed! She peels him off of her and sets him on the table. They are like - "whoa - this cat is so scared that I'm sorry - it's not you, it's just we can't work with an animal that is that afraid" and they sent her home right away.

Now that had to just suck. You drive all the way from UT only to be sent right home. The 2 evaluators were definately not impressed by that - taking a panicked cat in a car for that long to come to this audition!

Then this cute, thin 20-something brought her cat up but couldn't get him out of the carrier so they put the k-bosh on that cat and sent her packing. One guy took his cat up and I guess it had a weepy eye - the 2 evaluators were all over that - if he'd taken his cat to the vet for it and what was it and did it always weep like I would think it wouldn't go on t.v. with a flaw like that? I dunno? Another lady took her cat up and the ASPCA lady was telling her that something was bad and it could imbed in her cat's skin and she really needed to get her cat to a vet... I have no idea what that was about but you'd think that would be a disqualifying thing even tho' they did let her go forward.

They called me back up. I got Mojo out and put him on the table. He layed down and seemed much more relaxed. Both of them commented that he was A LOT better. The tat guy looked relieved cuz I think he liked Mojo - he smiled when I told them his name - like it was a cool name.

Anyway - I said that we lived on a small hobby farm in Ft. Collins with horses and dairy goats and we went to the feed store where he was the last kitten left in a stock tank. When he head butted my husband's goat, we had to take him home with us. Again - the tat guy liked that and sort of chuckled cuz he had that little goat-ee thing too. The ASPCA lady remarked that it was a good display of my cat's relationship to me that he calmed down that fast. I told her he is really mellow and calms down right away about situations. The tat guy said he was a really pretty cat and he was glad that Mojo had calmed down - he said it enthusiatically... he must like black cats? They took my pix with Mojo with a polaroid instant photo camera and stapled it to my ppwk.

NONE of the other cats there were black. There were tabby cats, orange cats, siamese cats, spotted cats.. no other black ones. Not to say black ones didn't show up later...
This is the little hallway where I waited for my "screen shot"
So I got to go to the final phase. They had me sit in this hall with a couple others outside the main staging/evaluation room. Then they took me into a room with another Humane Society or ASPCA person and a t.v. personality guy cuz he was all polished and macheesemo. They didn't have my ppwk in the room yet so the macheesemo guy was like - I don't know who you are cuz I don't have your ppwk! I told him my name and my cat's name and joked a little with him about not letting my cat out until the room was secure and something else but I don't really remember. I had him chuckling a little tho'.

The room is filled with lights and booms and cameras and light reflector things and microphones etc. Mojo was like - CRAP! But he stayed in my lap and didn't struggle really to get away. He did NOT like the overhead microphone thing and would duck each time it went overhead. I thought that was kinda funny.

Once the door is closed, they have me sit in this directors chair next to this little cat tower thing. They tell me to hold on tight to my cat...

So they ask me my cat's name and I say "Mojo"...the guy is like - no, say 'my cat's name is...' so I repeat cheerfully "My cat's name is Mojo!" Then they ask me how he got his name. I say how the day we brought him home, we went to a Denver Blues Festival and that mojo and blues just go together!

They asked where Mojo likes to be petted the most - I said he likes to be petted down his back ... and they asked where he likes to be most and I said we had 3 dogs and he likes to lay in the middle of them all on his back with his legs in the air snoring....

Then they threw me... they asked what would I do with the million dollars if I won it. Well to tell you the truth, I really hadn't gone there cuz I have to make it through this audition first you know? And I guess I just can't really fathom a million dollars. Not for REALS.

I went blank - thought I should answer pay all my bills cuz that is what I would do but then thought that would be a boring I said, "I'd probably jump up and down and scare my cat!" (rolling of eyes) then said something about living on a farm and we'd probably add on to the farm and doesn't a large portion of the money go to charity? so that would be good - but yeah, probably add on to the farm.

I think that was a lame answer...

The last thing they asked was what Mojo would do if HE won the million dollars... I laughed and said, Mojo?! they said yes and I said, well, I'm sure he'd lay on it - on his back - with his feet in the air - snoring!

Then they took 2 pix of me and Mojo and the t.v. guy was like - that was great! That was really great! Thank-you! I said, "No, thank-YOU for coming to Denver!" and they were like - no, no, thanks for coming OUT!

Shrug. So I think it went really well and figure I have as good of a chance as anyone. Just from watching the crowd, figure 50% will be eliminated for being too odd or shy or quiet, having scared cats or cats with health problems. I think the fact that they kept me there for an extra 10 min for Mojo to relax was a good sign cuz they coulda just booted me. I saw them boot others without a blink of an eye. And then how the ASPCA lady said him calming down was a good display of our relationship...?

There was one couple - older like 70s maybe - they had a baby stroller that was meshed in with 3 cats inside. They were like wierd, bizzarre, reclusive cat people - you could just tell there was no way in hell they'd make it on a show like that - they didn't really want to hand their cat over to the evaluators really and they didn't really relate well to anyone else in the waiting room. People were sorta chit-chatting you know and saying how nervous they were and that kind of stuff...smiling at each other, looking at other people's cats.

My Auntie was in town and she did some performing back in FL. She told me that you can't guess what you did that was right or wrong cuz there IS no right or wrong answer and you never know what they are looking for. Could be your "look" was just not the kind they wanted or they wanted a smaller cat or a different colored cat ... you just have no idea what they want and the business is really fickle.

I came away thinking it was a really fun adventure. I was actually really proud of myself for DOING it! Mojo did GREAT for never having been out of our little 900 sq ft house since we brought him home when he was 8 weeks old. He handled all the people and noise and strange situation very very well. I had fun and what the heck did I have to lose? Ya can't win if you don't play.

Furry Husband showed up just as we were done. He had a good morning playing disc golf - played 4 under par even. My Mom and Auntie took us to lunch at the Cherry Cricket while Mojo waited in the car. (it was only 70 and we parked in complete shade with all windows cracked) On the way home, he sat in my lap vs. stretching out in the back of the station wagon...he even made some biscuits on my knees and purred for a while. Stardom hasn't gone to his head..........yet.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

FDA and Meow Mix

The FDA is trying to pass a bill that would require small cosmetic/soap making businesses to pay large fees and fill out lots of confusing paperwork to sell their cosmetics/soaps/lotions. Sigh. The FDA isn't saying people can't do it, but the cost involved for someone that is small potatoes, like me, is going to be very prohibitive. It's discussed here - the 2008 FDA Globalization Act. It's pretty discouraging when I'm trying to get going... sorta feels like What's the Point? If anyone reads this that cares, please write to your congressman and tell them not to do it and squash small business owners everywhere, especially when the economy is so dismal these days for all the "little people" as it is. Thank-you!

Some more exciting news is that I am headed to Denver with my big, black, 20lb, cat to audition for the Meow Mix game show this Saturday. Interestingly enough, we had a cat growing up -Spot - she only ate Meow Mix and she lived to be like 50 yrs old!

Anyway, they are auditioning for a one time game show to be aired on GSN, formerly the Game Show Network. Del Monte - the owners of Meow Mix - are holding autitions in 8 cities. One person and their cat from each location will be chosen to compete in a cat game show. I figure I have as good a shot as anyone and it should be "AN ADVENTURE"!
Poor Furry Husband. He is learning to hate it when we (read - I) get excited about "AN ADVENTURE". What can he do but go along with my crazy schemes?

At worst, I waste a day in Denver with my cat. At best I get to go on this game show and even if I get disqualified for answering everything incorrectly, I still get $1K and a years supply of cat food. Poor Mojo has no idea what he's in for. He is the only cat of the five we have that would not simply implode with the madness of going to Denver and being in an audition.

The audition consists of three phases: 1. a 20 question multiple choice quiz on my general cat knowledge. 2. Mojo meets an animal trainer/behaviorist to see if he is a cat they could work with vs. being a cat who takes out a camera man with it's claws on the way screaming out the door 3. they interview me with my cat about my relationship with my cat to make sure we are both cameral friendly... here is my chance to tell them all about Mojo and his funny life with goats on our farm.
Don't worry - he doesn't REALLY drink beer, he isn't old enough and the bubbles tickle his nose.
shrug. Like I said, I have as good a shot as anyone. I really hope Mojo's head doesn't explode - *POOF*. Just think of the stories he'll be able to tell all of our other kitties when he gets home....

I'll take my digital camera and bring back stories and pix of my day in Denver with aaalllllllllll the other Cat People... I really have no idea what to expect. Tho' I did dye my hair red last night for the "camera friendly" fun of Meow Mix AND for my 20 yr h.s. reunion on the 26th....

Sunday, July 6, 2008


I took a few days off from work cuz Furry Husband had some use or lose vacation time and no one drinks wine on the 4th of July. It's all beer... so he took some vacation and we decided to work on a few projects around the place.

Our neighbor Jack brought in some sand for us and we wanted to create a stone walk way to avoid mud if it ever rains again in CO. Pretty much a lot of our projects are centered on eliminating mud or are all about easy clean up when there is mud.

We heard from our neighbor Mrs. Kravitz that if you drove up this dirt road into a canyon there was flat rock as far as the eye could see and no one around and you could just take it. She went there all the time and always took dates up there and had sex with them (shudder) because it is so beautiful there.

Well, we drove up there and yes, it was indeed beautiful - not beautiful enough to inspire Furry Husband and I to hump like rabbits, but very pretty. There was some flat rock - however, there were NO TRESPASSING signs about every 30 feet. No one around - but all those signs made me feel a bit hinky. However, I was not about to leave the adventure without SOME rock.

We stopped and loaded maybe 20 flat rocks of varying sizes when Furry Husband shouts, "Someone's coming!" I jump down from the shoulder of the road, run across the street and jump in the truck. Furry Husband slams the tailgate of the truck shut...a black Subaru Forrester pulls up. There is a 20 something man with facial piercings and a woman that is maybe a bit older... they look us up and down with a very Clint Eastwood look. The man says in a very Clint Eastwood voice, "Whatchoo doin'?" Looking us up and down and being very suspicious of us. Furry Husband says in his best bullshitting, probably a bit over enthusiastic voice, "Oh, we are just out for a drive. Sure is beautiful out here!"

The pierced man is suspicious but can't seem to place what we've done wrong so he says in his gravelly voice "Well, I'm jus' chekkin' on the laaaand" We smile and wave at them enthusiastically like we are total idiots who've never seen this sort of scenery and we drive off...

We felt SO guilty all day long and Furry Husband was worried they took our license plate number and the cops would show up... I assured him that no one could prove the rocks in our truck came from that particular location. Needless to say, the rocks we stole were not going to be anywhere near enough to cover our entry path... and I don't think we could stomach theiving that many rocks so we caved and bought 2700 lbs of red flagstone - with a coupon and saved $40!

We pieced it all around where we wanted it and I think it looks great! We are trying to decide if we buy some red breeze to fill in the "seams" or if we just get some more cheap sand and fill in and let it be au-naturale. I'm sorta leaning toward au-naturale. Cheaper and blends in more with the rest of our little place.

The other project was to paint the outbuildings so they would match our house. Furry Husband painted the house 2 yrs ago and didn't get to the outbuildings. Oh! And we painted all the window trim which we had not done 2 yrs ago. So I think our house looks very cheerful and happy.

Furry Husband did have a run in with some paper wasps... I painted everything low cuz I am a big chicken about climbing things and cannot go higher than the first 2 rungs on a ladder. He painted everything tall... well, one board on the eave of the house was loose and the wasps thought that was a purty nifty spot. Furry Husband shouted about bees and then ON PURPOSE hit the board and climbed down the ladder cursing the bees. All the wasps flew out looking for something to attack. He did not get stung which was amazing to me. When I asked WHY he would HIT the board the wasps were nesting he said with complete conviction, "Cuz they made me MAD! They were impeding my work!" That had me chuckling to myself the rest of the day... git MAD at 'dem bees!

However, when he climbed up the ladder 15 minutes later (and he says I'M stubborn?) he got stung in the corner of his eye and luckily retained his wits to climb down the ladder with his paint can. Cuz it coulda been a complete comedy of errors where he fell off the ladder, into the electric fence and dropped a full gallon can of paint on one of the napping dogs below! None of that happened and all he has to show for it is his one swollen eye - making him look a little like Forrest Whittaker.

We did buy some wasp killer and killed the little mo'fo's this morning before they got active. Finished painting the window... however.... I did some touch up painting to some spots and it's not blending in with the rest of the house paint... so ya know. Looks a bit trashy...but it all kinda fits in with our theme. Old Farmhouse. Green Acres. We Don't REALLY Know What We Are Doing.