Monday, June 22, 2009

Roll Call

I've decided to out myself. I've said it before and I'll say it again...I'm a crazy cat lady. For years now whenever someone would ask "just how many cats do you have?" I always gave a few pat answers such as "you really don't want to know", I really can't keep track of them all", and "it's a state secret." I'm now going to list all my furbies to dispel the age-old stereotype of the crazy cat lady and to start a new definition of one. You know the old one--a desperate lonely single woman (usually old or ugly, or both), possibly a hoarder, with no friends save her feline ones. Okay, I'm single but that's as far as the stereotype goes. I have a decent paying and good job, own my own home, have many friends both at work and outside of work and have many, MANY outside interests that have absolutely nothing to do with cats!
If someone takes in a number of dogs, or horses, or whatever, you never hear a derogatory stereotype about them...why cats? Everyone I know that has taken in cats have hearts of gold. They, like myself, cannot turn their backs on a needy animal. These folks, like myself, also volunteer and give money to many local animal shelters and know the realities of bringing in stray cats to the shelter and decide "what's one more cat?" Instead of making fun of these folks, people should be thanking them for all they do for these vulnerable animals.

Whew!! Okay, I feel better now. So, without further ado, here are the current occupants of Possumlady Place, ranked in order of their being taken in.


At 13 years old, Apu is the oldest of the clan and now the only cat that I actually adopted from a shelter back in 1996. A typical scaredy cat and curmudgeon, Apu has really grown in the year since his security blanket, Butterball, passed on. He was named after a favorite Simpsons cartoon character.

Sweet Pea

He is roughly 10 years old. Around 5:45 one morning in August of 2001 I heard a cat fight right under my bedroom window. I looked out to see a fluffy gray cat running away with my neighbor's cat, Winston, in hot pursuit. My neighbors and I started feeding him and asking around the neighborhood. No one claimed him so my neighbor took him in to get neutered, cleaned up, and get the necessary shots. Then what? Another neighbor had expressed interest earlier on but when the cat was ready to be adopted, the neighbor changed his mind. So again, what's one more cat. I took him in with Butterball and Apu already in residence. Yet neither Butterball nor Apu were lap cats and this cat loved to jump in my lap and bury his head. I just kept telling him what a Sweet Pea he was and the name stuck.


He will be 8 this fall. I started seeing Woody in March of 2002 and I assumed he just lived up the street. Then I didn't see him again until June. I hardly recognized him. Patchy, dull coat and so emaciated you could see every vertebra and rib on his body. I watched as he slowly made the rounds of the neighborhood, walking up to the front porches of people who had cats, looking for food. I followed him with a bowl full of turkey baby food. I called him and he slowly came to me. I put down the food and I never saw a cat eat so fast. I picked him up and brought him home where I put out dry and wet food. Again, my neighbor took him in to be neutered and given his shots. The vet estimated he was around 8 months old. When my neighbor got him home, she asked me if I wanted him. My mind was screaming NO, NO, NO!! But, somehow the words that came out of my mouth were "sure, why not". I started calling him String Bean (Beanie), then settled on Woody. He has grown to be one of my largest cats and a sweeter one you will never meet. He does not have a mean bone in his body and loves everyone. If he could find a way to velcro himself to my lap, he would do it.

Toby, Figaro, and Chloe

These three cats came over from my neighbor's house around the same time in late 2003, early 2004. I have no idea their ages. My neighbor had them as give ups or from other rescuers. They were all very skittish with Toby acting almost feral in his fear of people. I can imagine with my neighbor's four barkey terrier type dogs and her foster dogs and cats, along with potential adopters coming and going most evenings, her home must have been a nightmare for these quiet, terrified souls. They found quiet and sanctuary at my house and they have all blossomed. Figaro and Chloe are the tuxedo twins and are very sweet and friendly. Toby is still pretty skittish but will allow me to pet him on occasion. In fact, I finally just got Toby to come into the house about a year ago so he wouldn't be the only cat outside on cold winter nights.


aka, Chunky Lisa, or Lisa Marie. Chunky Lisa, a dilute calico, also came over from my neighbor's house. I started seeing her around January 2005. She was brought over when her elderly owner passed away. A timid, sensitive soul, Chunky Lisa has blossomed since coming to Possumlady Place. I've often wanted to change her name to Chatty Cathy as she trills, grunts, tweets and meows almost constantly when she is awake.

Oliver (Twist)

aka, Ollie, or Ollie Baba. Little Oliver started showing up in my front yard bushes with eyes glowing in the night around March 2006. I would see him snatching a bit to eat on my front porch. If he saw me he would hiss and run off. I noticed he had a tipped ear--a mark of a feral cat that has been trapped, neutered and released. Imagine my surprise when a few weeks later he started running up to me to be petted. Very skinny and gangly, I named him Oliver Twist as he always wanted more food!
So, there you have it. All the creatures currently at Possumlady Place---for now ;-)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Drum Roll Please.....New Cushions!!

Yes, this is the excitment of my weekend. Finding new cushions for my front porch wicker. I am usually a catalog and on line shopper but I have not been able to find anything that I really liked.

This morning I needed to make a quick stop at a small local hardware store and decided to stop in at a Pier One that was close by. They didn't have much of a selection, but I found what I wanted right away, although I had forgotten how expensive these cushions can be. I had not planned on spending close to $100 for two cushions and a small pillow. That even takes into account a 25% discount on each item!!

But I do love them. Yes, there is a lot of color and prints and stripes on the porch but I've never been a matchy matchy kind of gal, and I DO live in Takoma Park, a very creative little town where a lot of the houses and front porches come alive with vibrant colors. No homeowners associations here!! I just couldn't live like that, personally.

My little loveseat is now so comfortable, I spent most of the afternoon here sipping my Fresca, eating crackers and hummus and reading.

I even gave in and let Woody outside with me. He cries and cries and cries and cries when I'm hanging out on the front porch, so I finally let him out. He likes the new cushions too.

Of course, as soon as I got up to get my camera, Chunky Lisa had to try out the loveseat for herself. An hour later and she is still there snoozing away.
Hope you all had a restful weekend.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Routine Email Alert--Not So Routine

Working in Washington, DC, one gets used to the sounds of sirens. White House folks needing to be shuffled around the area, along with foreign dignitaries, all of them needing police escorts. It's a wonder we can get any work done at all some days.

Shortly after 9/11, a wonderful service the city provides is email/cell phone alerts. If you sign up you will be alerted to any number of things--bad weather approaching, temporary road closures due to the President moving from one part of the city to another, police activity, other routine road closures due to marches and protesters, and yes, possible terrorist activities. So, I didn't think any of it when I received this email alert a few hours ago:

Street closures due to police activity: NB/SB 14th St Brge to Indep Ave SW, IB 14th St SW HOV lanes, SB 14th St SW - Const Ave SW, WB 12th St & C St SW, WB Indep Ave SW from 12th St SW, SB 15th St SW from Indep Ave SW.
Sent by DC HSEMA to e-mail, pagers, cell phones....powered by Cooper Notification RSAN
- You received this alert because you registered for AlertDC.

Then I found out that an 88 year old man with ties to white supr*macy, walked into the Holocaust Museum with a shotgun and started shooting.


Sunday, June 7, 2009

I'm Back!

This weekend was the first weekend in a LONG time that I finally felt all together well both physically and mentally, and I actually had energy to do things! I had absolutely no plans but to work outside. Saturday was spent running errands, then mowing and weeding the front yard. Oh, and a word of warning. Before you get into a weeding frenzy, make sure you take a good look at what you are about to pull out.

I have no idea what this little guy is. He was only an inch tall and wide. I waited until he left on his own acord before pulling this weed up.

Sunday I started with mixing up a dry rub for some ribs and wrapped them up to rest before grilling Sunday night. I then decided to pull everything off of my front porch, sweep it then hose it and scrub it down. Try as I might, I just couldn’t get all the imbedded dirt off the painted porch floor. I had thought a few months ago that I should get a small indoor/outdoor rug to cover it.

Last month my sister and I made our annual trek to the National Cathedral’s Flower Mart. Let me show you what I bought.

This rug is PERFECT for my front porch! It is from a company call Mad Mats and is made from recycled plastic and since it is nonporous, dirt and mold will not get imbedded and it can be cleaned easily with a hose. And, it feels great on bare feet.

Then, there is a woman who exhibits her mosaic creations every year at the Flower Mart. I love her work. The ones I really love are made with old broken plates, jewelry, buttons, ceramic statues, etc. The only problem is that most of her pieces are big and just would not fit in my little bungalow. So I was thrilled when I saw this small old cedar jewelry box that she had covered in mosaic. She told me where every piece came from and the name of the pattern of the old plates around the edges. Having dabbled in broken plate mosaics myself, I know how much thought goes into each piece and how time consuming it is. I truly treasure this little box.

Also finally spray painted my porch wicker (picture to follow once they dry and are put back on the porch). Now I just need to buy some new cushions and I'll be set for the year.

Okay, here is a photo of the newly painted wicker. I really didn't want to do boring white again. Against the wall is a folding bistro table also in green that I picked up at Target. Chunky Lisa is there to provide her one track mind commentary, such as: Is it time for the wet food yet? Might there be any wet food left over in the kitchen? I really could go for a wet food snack right about now...

Yes, quite a productive weekend!! What did you do this weekend?