Kittens So Cute They Stopped The Trains in NYC Subway

Ten Lives Club at Pet Supplies Plus E. Amherst

SubwayKittensKittens at the Church Avenue subway station in Brooklyn via Marc A. Hermann

These two cuties stopped a lot of trains after being found in a Brooklyn subway station and rescued.

In Brooklyn, New York, yesterday two little lost kittens caused the subway system to come to a halt for nearly two hours after they were found on the tracks by Transit Authority workers.

At the Church Avenue station, commuters were kept waiting while the police and transit workers put a rescue mission into place.

The pair of kittens, named August and Arthur by Metropolitan Transit Authority workers, were first spotted at around 11 a.m.  The initial plan to scoop up the black and tabby kitties failed because, according to an M.T.A. spokesperson, the kittens were too fast and kept dodging the M.T.A. workers on the tracks! (Power to the tracks was shut off.)


NYSubwayKittensA frantic game of chase…

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Love this blogger and had to share her latest post – I can so relate

Snips, Snails, Puppy dog tails, Body Odor, Boners & BOOKS…

My own son is heading into that uncharted territory.  His pediatrician informed me at his last well visit that he was well on his way into puberty.  A little earlier than most at eleven, but there it is.  I had a feeling that was the case since he has become much more “private”, shall we say?  Locking the bathroom door, not changing in front of anyone (particularly me), his voice is starting to crack, a few tell tell signs of the big “P”.  However, maturity-wise he’s closer to an 8 or 9 year old.  Imagine sprouting hair on your legs (and probably a few other places) and having all these weird feelings all of a sudden but no idea why.  I’m glad I subscribe to Moms Who Drink and Swear, otherwise I would never have come across this book and her interesting take on her own experience with her son who is the same age as mine. I’m ordering this today!  I just wish it was in ePub format for his Nook…

Enlighten me

I was so impressed with my son this evening.  We were all sitting around the table at dinner and Josh made a very poignant comment.  “Did you know there are kids my age in other countries who have to work all day long?”  Pretending (slightly) that this is new information, I said “Really?  Was this something you learned in school today?”  His response – “YES!  They have to work all day long, every day and don’t go to school”.

“Wow”, I said.  “Aren’t you lucky you have the opportunity to go to school and learn about how people in other countries live?  Which would you prefer – working all day long or going to school?”

“Going to SCHOOL!”


Sleeping with Cats

I love my cat and I love it when she sleeps with me.  But without fail, I’ll wake up at least once during the night to find that 10 pounds of cat has somehow pinned my legs to the point of paralysis…There must be some law of physics that can explain this phenomenon.  How is that possible??   If I’m sleeping with my legs slightly apart at some point during the night, Lilly will lay right in between them – making any shifting or moving around impossible – without disturbing her beauty sleep, god forbid…  If I’m laying on my side with my legs together and slightly bent, she’ll lay right up against the back of my knees.

If at some point during the night, my dog Maggie – a 70lb. chocolate lab – has decided to join us, it can get pretty crowded.  And she won’t BUDGE…No way, no how…uh uh.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to have two furry warm “blankets” on a cold winter night, but it doesn’t always make for a peaceful night’s sleep.

Ooops, did i just say that?

I am so very lucky to have such a wide range of friends who have many different perspectives on any number of topics.  I love a good, intelligent conversation and happily play the devil’s advocate or stir things up whenever possible – depending on the situation.  Sometimes, to the point of occasionally pissing off some not so open-minded people.  I really don’t do it on purpose…most of the time.  It’s just in my nature to look at every side of a subject or situation and try to understand both sides & maybe give a different perspective.  And more than likely, because I’m just a little mischievous to begin with.  I’ve never been afraid to speak my mind – sometimes to a fault.  In fact, I’ve pretty much been a rebel and free spirit most of my life – sometimes bucking or questioning authority (OK, USUALLY) and basically being “me”.  It does come with a price, unfortunately – I can end up, as I said before, pissing someone off or even worse, hurting their feelings – which is never my intent.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned what topics are generally appropriate with certain people and which ones are not.  At least most of the time.  Sometimes I still manage to let my tongue speak before my brain can keep the words from passing my lips.  Or my fingers from writing something spontaneously before I think about the consequences.  But at least I realize this is something I need to continually work on and consciously try my best to stop and think it through before opening my mouth or letting my fingers get away from me.  Unfortunately, “Impulsive” is my middle name, so it does not come easily and is a continual work in progress.

Having spent way too much time on Facebook these past couple of days – it’s so easy to get sucked in, as we all know too well – I’ve made a few faux paus and gotten carried away a few times.  What a surprise…But there are two topics I do not discuss publicly on Facebook or in general – politics and religion.  Never a good idea and something I was told a long time ago is really never appropriate, unless under certain rare circumstances.  But when I read posts from people who seem to think otherwise and are spewing ridiculous, obnoxious and uneducated information on either of the two, it’s hard not to respond with an intelligent reply to the rants.  I rarely, if ever, do.  Because anyone who would post those things are past the point of listening to anything other than their own opinion or beliefs.  Or to people who don’t have the same opinions or beliefs that they do.  They are completely closed-minded and stubbornly defend their stand, regardless of whether it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.  I don’t judge other people’s opinions, that is not the point of this post and I hope I’m not beginning the sound that way.  But bottom line is, there are a lot of stupid, ignorant people out there – sorry, but there it is…I just need to remember that before letting my first impulses get the best of me…

And as always, here’s a vid relating to this topic from George Carlin:  RIP George, you are missed…

Sometimes a good laugh and good friends are really all you need…

I’ve just spent about 3 hours this morning on Facebook, visiting and laughing with very old (I don’t mean that in a bad way!) & dear friends.  As I’m looking out the front window, it’s rainy & dreary outside which can definitely do a number on your outlook for the day.  However, since I had the pleasure of spending the majority of my morning laughing my ass off, I’m completely oblivious to the crappy weather.

I feel honored to have good friends I have known for…well, let’s just say a few decades & leave it at that – who have a great sense of humor, make intelligent comments and don’t get offended at my sometimes off color and frank remarks.  It’s comforting to know that no matter what I say or how I say it, they will never judge me, resent me or get mad at me and will always be there when I need them.  I feel very lucky to have friends like that in my life – and for most of my life to boot.  What more could a person ask for?

Even though we all live hundreds of miles apart and haven’t actually “seen” each other in many years, we can still have a back & forth conversation almost instantaneously thanks to the almighty internet.  It still amazes me.  Why?  It’s not like the internet hasn’t been around for a long time.  You’d think the novelty would’ve worn off for me a long time ago.  But no…Because I grew up when there was no internet.  No cell phones, no cable TV with 5,000 channels & movies on demand, no iPads, MP3 players, Nooks or GPS devices – high technology was a long way off.  Hell, I was in high school when the first CDs came out – and let me tell you they were NOT cheap.  You were considered a high tech junky if you owned a CD player because the damn things cost more than most people made in a year.  And then of course you had to be able to afford the CDs – which, in that regard there was a very small selection of music that was even released in that format.  Even then, they had to be special ordered most of the time.  How do I know this?  Because I worked in a specialty record store when the first CDs were ever released.  I grew up during a time that makes me appreciate how much technology and information we all have at our fingertips now and most people take for granted.

One of my very dear friends made me stop and think about all of these things just this morning with a very simple question:  What was the first CD you ever bought?  Of course she meant music in general, but I had to laugh when I posted my comment.  Because quite frankly, I was an ADULT before I ever bought a CD or had a CD player to even listen to the damn thing.  That took the conversation in a completely different direction at that point.  Still about music, of course, but talking about 45s or 8-track tapes – going back to before everything was digitized, remastered and available for downloading instantaneously.

My son, who is eleven, will never know a world without all of the high tech conveniences we have all come to know, love and take for granted everyday.  It’s kind of weird when I stop and think about that fact.  How much has changed in the relatively short time since I was his age.  It’s really incredible.  I’m sure anyone under the age of 40 cannot relate nor is continually fascinated by all of the new devices and even higher levels of conveniences that seem to be never ending.  It’s slightly sad to me that my son will grow up taking all of these things for granted.  By the time he’s my age, who knows what will be possible and completely available to anyone with the money to buy them.  I’m thinking, maybe someone will invent a device that can transport A PERSON instantaneously to anywhere in the world.  Hell, even the Universe for that matter.  Or the ability to time travel.  OK, now I’m really sounding like an idiot…But seriously, it does make me wonder sometimes what kind of future is in store for my son.  If I start thinking in that direction for very long however, I’ll just ruin what started out to be a most enjoyable day…Things could either get a whole lot better or much, much worse.  Time to start thinking about something else – like NOW.

And so, to keep things on a happy note, enjoy some George Carlin and have a good long laugh.  It always works for me…

New (Kind of) Additions to our Household Zoo – Pt. Deux

After we got home in record time (spent 1 short night in some remote “town” in Indiana – I won’t go into the motel accommodations – HA!) I got to work getting Leslie’s new home set up.  We had used a 10 gallon tank I’d bought years ago for many things – fish, a toad, tadpoles, crawdads, more fish…Anyway, after researching what we needed to prepare, we got Leslie’s home ready.  It was pretty cool actually.  I went to the pet store the next day for pinhead crickets & other supplies.  He seemed content – although not a pet you should handle, according to what we read.  But fun to look at and watch for my son.

One morning, about 4 months later, my son found Leslie dead in his very shallow water bowl.  He was very upset.  We had no idea how or why Leslie had died and had an even harder time trying to explain to my son (who has ADHD & we recently found out possibly Asperger syndrome) that sometimes nature takes it’s course.  We held a funereal for Leslie and he/she is buried alongside my (our) 2 cats that had crossed the Rainbow Bridge years before.  It’s a beautiful spot – under giant pine trees and across from our increasingly abundant berry bushes in the very back portion of our yard (we live in the burbs, but have over an acre of wooded land).

A few weeks later, my mother in law came over, as usual, to work with my son on his homework and had a surprise…She had bought him an albino leopard gecko!  And so, our journey into the lizard world continued…The gecko was named Leslie II – because, as is the case with most reptiles, the sex is hard to tell until they are completely mature (she was still a juvenile) and because my son wanted to commemorate his first Leslie – the 5-lined skink.  My son was overjoyed!  I was thinking, oh boy – more keeping crickets & trips to the pet store once or twice a week…We already have a cat (my baby barn kitty I got 3 yrs. ago rescued from living a very short life outdoors in a barn & part feral – well, she used to be…), a chocolate lab, 2 bettas & a tank of fish.

As turns out, she is very docile and extremely cute – for a lizard.  I began to realize that I was becoming just as fascinated with her as my son – if not more so!  We bought a new 20 gallon tank with all the necessary equipment and I have probably gone overboard filling it with decorations and researching what geckos like or need in their living space.  My son can hold and handle her without any concerns that she will scramble off or bite him.  (The pic below is not the real Leslie II – again, Google stock photo…)

Before we knew whether she was a “she”, I was already certain of her gender.  She loves pink fleece and will perch happily on my shoulder – sometimes a little too close – climbing into my hair and getting somewhat tangled, but it’s all good.  We took her to the pet store a month or so ago for them to “sex” her & yes, she is definitely a female.  The lady who helped us was very impressed with her since she didn’t squirm or bite when she held her to look at her belly.  Another concern with geckos is “dropping their tails” when they feel threatened.  Leslie is very laid back…My kind of lizard~!

As Christmas approached, my son wanted a friend for Leslie.  Again, more research – it’s OK to have 2 females but not a great idea to add a male with only 1 female.  I won’t go into specifics, but let’s just say males prefer a harem & most certainly do not want to be around other males.  They also need to be about the same size to prevent one trying to be the dominate gecko & causing stress, which can kill them.  I began my quest for finding Leslie’s new roommate.

About 3 weeks before Christmas, I found another leopard gecko that seemed to be about the same size and was NOT an albino (my son was quite specific) – although they couldn’t tell me whether it was male or female.  I decided to risk it anyway since my mother in law & I were not having much luck up to that point.  The pet store let me pay for it & keep it at the store for a couple of weeks.

A week before Christmas the pet store called to say I needed to collect my gecko.  My son got an early gift (he tends to get them anyway) and was very excited.  Only problem was this one is not so docile & very skiddish.  I’m sure it was raised in the pet store (not the one I typically go to which is locally owned, not a chain) and never handled or socialized.  My son named him/her “Sam” – again, a name that could go either way since we didn’t know the gender.  My son put him in the tank with Leslie and from that point on they would curl up together in the “rock” hide.  A good sign I thought – at least they seem to get along.

Yep, they get long alright – only too well.  About a week ago, I found 2 eggs buried in the moss in the “moist” hide .  One mystery solved – Sam is definitely a male.  My son was so excited!  We’re going to have baby geckos!!  Yea~!  More research on how to incubate the eggs, how many will she lay, etc.

Day before yesterday, my son insisted that the hide needed to be misted – I hadn’t found the right container or substrate yet to transfer the eggs.  Up until that time I had not touched the eggs.  When I did touch the one on top, it was very soft & come to find out, stuck to the egg underneath.  Not good.  So, I removed the hide and disposed of the contents rather reluctantly – my son was not convinced that they may not hatch.  He commented “don’t be surprised if some baby geckos appear in our trashcan”.  Ummmm…no.  But I can’t blame him for being optimistic!

Here’s some more pics of Sam & Leslie & their home and with that – this post finally comes to an end…(OK, I give up trying to figure out how to keep previous pics from showing up below…arrrggg…so actually it’s pics of the entire pet menagerie)

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New (Kind of…) Additions to Our Household Zoo

This past Summer, we drove down to Oklahoma to visit family (and Texas for our family reunion – which, BTW was in it’s 3rd consecutive month of triple digit weather).  While we were staying at my Sis & BIL’s Lakehouse in Okema, OK (and I DO mean LAKE HOUSE – 3 BR, 2 Baths, floor to ceiling window view of the lake, all pine wood floors/walls/ceilings, enormous 4 tier deck, 2 boats, etc, etc…) my son caught a lizard that’s indigenous to Eastern Oklahoma.  He researched the lizard and discovered it was called a 5-lined skink.  It was really kind of pretty – for a lizard – kind of a bright blueish purple colored body with bright yellow lines running from it’s head to the tip of it’s tail and about 3 inches long.

Five-Lined Skink

My son, always interested in animals, insects, reptiles and amphibians of all sorts, wanted to bring it back with us as a pet – which I love (OK, not so much the bugs, but…).  Soooo, we had an extra passenger on our trip back a few days later.  “Leslie” (my son gave it a unisex name since he had read that you can’t tell the sex until it’s matured…in a year or 2…) traveled 1,200+ miles back to Buffalo, NY in a large coffee can with grass, leaves & what small bugs my son could find to feed it with – AND SURVIVED (thankfully)!  I did feel guilty taking him/her out of their environment but given the alternative of being snake food (that’s a WHOLE nother post), I consoled myself that we were giving him/her a better home and consented.

More lizard posts to follow…

there’s a fine line…

Why is there still such a double standard between men & women?  STILL -we are living in the year 2011, right?  “HELLOO!  Is this mindset embedded in men’s pointed little heads because women have a uterus?  Because too many men are still stuck in the 50’s – Madmen style?  I don’t get it…Yes, we (women) are biologically capable of growing new human beings.  Granted, it does require a donation…Frankly, that would not be something I would covet (being pregnant & going through the “wondrous” experience of giving birth).  Most men would ask to be shot in the head if they had to experience childbirth.  But again, I’m not a man (thank the Gods) & their mentality still continues to annoy & amaze me.

Wait, I forget – It’s the NY man mentality…I should know…

So on that friendly note…Missy my friend, you’ll be just fine – I love & miss you!