Today I’m posting a bunch of pictures in an attempt to clear out my tmp folder, because tomorrow? Tomorrow I reformat my hard drive, and there’s always the possibility that it’ll take longer than I expect and thus I am declaring that there’ll be no post on Monday because I’ll either be desperately trying to figure out what I did wrong, or possibly just recovering from the whole experience.


As you can see, with the addition of a cat bed to the area directly in front of the McMao cave, the McMaos are able to get in and out pretty easily.

Declan the explorer.

Ciara (front), Fergus Simon (in the process of coming out of the cave) and Finnegan.

Oh Declan, I love you so.


Paws up, y’all!


“Dude, your breath. It’s magical.”

“NO! You get back. It are time for MY belly rub, you can just wait your TURN.”

“I carry all my stress in my neck, lady. You need to move a bit higher.”

“Ahhh, yes. That’s the spot.”


Maggie has some quality time with the Kong Kickeroo.

“High? Me? No. Why would you think that?”

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Alice Mo has the longest tail in the house. Seriously – look at that thing.

“Hey! Shaddup! Stop talking about my tail! You’re making me self-conscious!”

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Fred’s book is now available on the German Amazon site, in case anyone out there’s interested!

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Sari asked:

I wonder why Maggie keeps a physical distance to them – does she get hot in the cave or maybe it’s too crowded for her liking? 😀

I didn’t know the answer to this, but Doodle Bean chimed in and said:

Scientists think that the mothers’ spending time away from the nest encourage the kittens to develop faster because they have to work harder and harder to get to the milk – using their eyes and noses to find her, getting it together to walk to her, etc.

It may seem harsh to us, but Nature is like that.

Which makes total sense. I notice that the older the kittens get, the less inclined Maggie is to go running over to check on them at every little sound they make.

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Does it appear that at least one, if not two, of the babies might be fluffier than the rest, and therefore destined to be medium- or long-haired beauties?


Those babies are so stinkin’ cute! I’m wondering if they have short hair with baby fuzz or are they going to be long haired kitties?

I do not believe we’ve got any that will turn out to be medium or long-haired cats, I think they’re all short-haired. But I could be wrong! (On a side note, of all the cats I’ve fostered, I’ve had very few that were long-haired.)

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Aww explorer Declan is wearing his wee white exploring socks and mittens 🙂


Here at Crooked Acres, one must be properly attired when exploring. It’s one of the things I insist upon!

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To: Robyn Anderson
From: Your fans
Re: Kara, Corbie, Alice, probably Stinkerbelle, Tom and Sugarbutt and maybe Rufus, Maggie and her kittens

We have read your posts over the years and have re-read Kara’s birthing story because you put that convenient link in there. We are getting the very strong impression that when you write “And no, we’re not keeping them”, what actually happens is that you end up keeping at least one. Just sayin’ that you’ve written that phrase about Rufus as well as Maggie and her litter…

Watch out! We’re going to start nagging any minute now!

As long as, after they go off to be adopted, y’all realize that it’s not ’cause I don’t WANT to keep them that I’m not keeping them. I pretty much want to keep all our fosters. These guys will be especially hard to give up, since I practically gave birth to them myself.

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Maggie’s “soothing mama” sound reminds me a bit of the trilling chirps in the “two talking cats” video:

I love that video – those cats are so SWEET.

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Looking at the kittens and Maggie, I can’t help but wonder what the Papa McMao looks like. I mean, the babays have more white than Maggie, does it mean it comes from their daddy?

I don’t have a clue, as I don’t really know much about cat genetics (catnetics!), but I’m sure someone out there knows. Anyone?

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WOW!! Where did you get all these fabulous chicken breeds?!?! They’re wonderful and so healthy and so proud and gorgeous!!! Oh I think I’m in love with your array of chickens!!! Lovely!!!

Well, thank you! The crested polish chickens were bought from a hatchery a couple of years ago. These days, most of our chickens are “mutts” because we decided why buy from a hatchery when we’ve got hens who can – and want to! – hatch eggs for us. We’ve got two hens sitting on eggs at the moment, and they should be hatching any time now.

We hadn’t intended to have baby chicks quite this early, but hens who are broody (ie, want to hatch babies) can be pretty tricky, and earlier this week Fred found a hen sitting on a clutch of 18 eggs. He candled them (shone a bright light through the egg) and found that 15 of them had definite growth. And as it happened, another hen was going broody at the same time, so he put 7 eggs under one hen and 8 under the other, and we should have babies any day now.

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Wee babies toes! I am 99% sure these are Ciara’s toes.

More nursin’.

Hungry babies.


“Your ear smells funny.”

“::gasp:: OH NO SHE DI’IN’T!”

Bath time for Maggie.

At just under three weeks old, the McMaos are spending more time out of their den of their own volition. I put a cat bed in front of the kennel to make it easier for them to get out if they want to, and occasionally they (especially Declan and Ciara) do. I was a bit worried the other night, because the kittens were out exploring the room at bedtime, and I was concerned that they wouldn’t be able to figure out how to get back into their den. I put out some extra cat beds and made sure the ceiling fan was off, and figured Maggie wouldn’t let them starve or freeze. Sure enough, when I got up in the middle of the night to peek in on them, they were all back in the cave.

I can’t believe they’re almost three weeks old!!!

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(Elwood’s face is cracking me up.)

(And Corbie’s face is cracking me up here!)

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(If you click on this link and are redirected back to this site, would you leave a comment letting me know? Thanks!)

Lucky the cat has Eyelid Agenesis (that’s the same condition the True Blood 6 were born with) and needs surgery. Spread the word, won’t you?

Lucky’s ChipIn page.

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Sights from around Crooked Acres.

The Robins are everywhere right now.

Rooster stomping over to see WHAT in TARNATION is going on.

Another rooster.

This Golden Polish is by far our prettiest chicken (in my opinion). I love her coloring. She’s a couple of years old now, and her head feathers seem to be slowly turning white. Which just makes her prettier! We call her “the Rock Star.”

Meredith Grey is appalled at this treatment.

“Sir, unhand me!”

“I SAY, unhand me!”

I love to get shots that show how much smaller Gracie is than George.



Happy pups.

“Pups, look at me! ME! Good, Gracie! Now, George, look at ME, not off in the distance like you’re having deep thoughts. Can’t I get one shot of the two of you BOTH looking at me?”

Apparently NOT.

Last Fall, the pansies in the pot on the front porch seemed to be about dead, so I tossed them on the compost heap. Which apparently brought them back to life – I should repot them and put them on the front porch again!

Baby pears. God willing and the creek don’t rise, maybe we’ll actually get some fruit from our fruit trees this year!

Mister Bluebird likes to hang around the back yard.

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You’ll pardon all the pictures of the babies nursing, won’t you? I took, literally, over 100 pictures while this was going on, and it was really hard to whittle them down to the best ones. I could sit and watch baby kittens nurse FOREVER.



Maggie’s clearly thinking “I blame YOU for this.” What can I say? They get kind of excited when they realize I’ve come into the room!


“Seriously, I could use a mani/pedi and a massage.”


I wish they stayed this little and had those amazing blue eyes forever and ever.


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Coltrane’s on the other side of the ditch that separates the back forty from the front part of our property and he doesn’t appreciate having us so far from him. Who’s going to pet him?!

(I’ve mentioned this before, I’m sure, but I have some new readers recently, and wanted to say that the area of our property that I call “The back forty” is about two and a half acres (our entire property is 4 1/2 acres). It’s where the chickens and George and Gracie live (there’s a big chicken coop and at one point Fred actually built a big, solid dog house on the back of the chicken coop, which the dogs refused to use. It’s now the maternity coop. When weather gets bad, the dogs can go into the big coop if they want to. There’s also a rain shelter on the front of the coop. Of course, most of the time they prefer to hang out in the middle of the field. Rain doesn’t bother them.)

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Declan and Ciara, scoping out the situation and trying to determine whether it’s worth it to escape the McMao cave.

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McMaos in the McMao cave.

Goofy babies, rolling around.

Maggie, chilling out away from the babies.

Fergus Simon, exploring (that’s my camera lens cap his front paw is on).

Finnegan, rolling around.

Cillian. Everything is absolute, stunningly amazing to this little guy.


Fergus Simon, looking around. This one misses NOTHING.

“My paw smells funny.” (Declan)

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Sweet Miz Poo.

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Yesterday, for the first time in two and a half weeks, I vacuumed the foster room. The amount of loose cat hair in there was just appalling. I hadn’t vacuumed before yesterday because I didn’t want to traumatize the babies or Maggie. But I was getting desperate, so I figured it was time. It was pretty simple – I just went in, picked up the McMao cave, carried it into the closet (it’s a big closet). Maggie followed us in, I turned on the light, and then closed the door. It took me about ten minutes to vacuum the room, then I put the cave back where it belonged, Maggie followed me back out, and I closed the closet door again. Mission accomplished!

Someone asked in yesterday’s comments when the kittens’ ears will stand up on their heads. I did a quick glance back through Kara’s kittens’ pictures, and this was River (who is now Nate) at three weeks old:


So I’m going to guess that it should happen in the next week or so.

Someone else asked when it’ll be time to offer the kittens a slurry to help them wean. I’m going to start offering them canned kitten food around four to five weeks, since mothers generally starting weaning their kittens at five to six weeks. Maggie gets some canned kitten food in the morning and again in the evening, so if any of the kittens show interest before that, I’ll of course offer them some.

This right here is Declan. Declan is the explorer of the litter. When I walk into the room, he immediately comes to the “door” of the McMao cave, and sticks his head out. The threshhold of the doorway is just a bit too high for them to get out, but he tries. Then he looks sadly at me until I lift him out so that he can explore.

Explorer Declan discovers the pink feathered cat toy.

It smells purrrrty.


Fergus Simon and the belly rub.


“What you doin’, lady?”

I love how happy they get when they discover Maggie.

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I wouldn’t ordinarily post this, as Jake’s just a blur, but the look on Tommy’s face is CRACKING ME UP.

The gray boys sure do love that Tommy.

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(If you click on this link and are redirected back to this site, would you leave a comment letting me know? Thanks!)

Comfy Rufus.

Rufus, fangin’ it.

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Can you believe these babies are two weeks old?

First, the videos. In the first, Fergus Simon and one of his brothers (I’m not sure who) flail around and bite each other.

In the second, you can see how they get around. Not bad for two weeks old!

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The amazed face over there on the right is cracking me UP.

Fergus Simon and his serious little face.

The pouty princess (Ciara) and Fergus Simon.

Cillian seems worried.

Macushla, giving me a bit of the ol’ attitude.

Finnegan, wandering.

Sweet Declan, wondering what’s going on.

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The Anderson kitties (and Rufus) are nuts for ham.

PS: Yesterday marked three years since Kara birthed her babies! Awwww.

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Okay, hopefully the changes in DNS have propagated across the entire internet, so I’ll stop updating this temporary page.

If you try going to the main Love & Hisses page and are redirected back here, please let me know would you?


Edited to add: If you are still being redirected, today’s post can be seen here.

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