Sarah Palin is the only woman who can make Tony Romo WIN a playoff.

calendar   Wednesday - May 18, 2016

cat pics

Hey, it was Vilmar’s idea. Not that he had to twist my arm.

Sniffles, the cat with the upper respiratory condition, doing her favorite activity: sleeping

Dizzy, the blind cat with the seizures, in her favorite underfoot attack! mode

Harry, one of our pride of 6 outdoor gingers, looking cute and forlorn for all the girls to swoon over


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/18/2016 at 04:08 PM   
Filed Under: • AnimalsCat Blogging •  
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calendar   Friday - May 06, 2016

ginger pile up

All three of them are in the photo, but dug into the cushions so deeply you can only spot two with ease. They’re young enough to still be nursing, but they’re learning to eat kibble and canned cat food. With their stubby little tails included I think they’re about 7” long. How old is that?

Another mean and wet day here. Nothing better than a nice warm pile of kittehs.



Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/06/2016 at 09:50 PM   
Filed Under: • AnimalsCat BloggingEye-Candy •  
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calendar   Friday - April 29, 2016

wilderness living here in NJ

So I’m having my first cuppa coffee outside on the patio this morning, trying to wake up on this dark damp and dreary day. The birdies are waking up too, making a racket. Alerted by the sound of the sliding door opening, a couple of our outdoor cats have come up out of their den and are stretching and thinking about begging some breakfast.

And I hear a crunch crunch crunch of bracken breaking and a soft low “woof” sound. I look down the cliff, and out of the brush saunters a bear, not 30 feet away. A black bear. A pretty nice size black bear, this is no cub. I’d guess about 6 feet, nose to tail? Maybe 175lbs? I’m no judge, but this one’s got a big round rump, doesn’t seem leggy, and the ears are pretty small. Of course, Mr. Bear is all fluffed up this chilly morning, so it’s hard to tell. And my, what a nice shiny pelt you have, all thick and long, dark as licorice. And your little snout on your big fat round face looking up at me. And then my brain kicks into gear.


Suddenly there are 6 kittehs on my patio. Swoosh, swoosh, swoosh, boing; they came flying in at full speed from under the bushes. And are all staring down the hill, while the bear is staring back up at us. “You stay up here, you stupid cats.”

And of course I don’t have a camera on me ... at 6am, who does? But I have my little foldy cell phone, so I whip it out to take a picture ... and of course, the thing has turned itself off in my pocket as usual. And it takes more than a minute to turn on and initialize. So I just stand there, and Mr. Bear keeps walking, following the little stream down there, past the vulture baths and crunching his way along. Right towards the work yard for the condo maintenance guys, who don’t come in until after 8. So I sent them a text. What else could I do? Right; I drank the rest of my coffee.

A bear. Friggin’ CRIVENS!!


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/29/2016 at 05:42 AM   
Filed Under: • AnimalsDaily Life •  
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calendar   Friday - April 22, 2016

have I seen everything yet?

Sometimes I feel like Marlin Perkins living here, out on the edge of our own Wild Kingdom in our backyard. Last week it was rummaging bears. Last year it was Doe Fight, with the female deer up on their hind legs hoofing the daylights out of each other; a regular Last McNugget battle.

Yesterday I looked out the window and saw a great lump in one of the trees here at the edge of the cliff. WT?? Turned out to be a turkey vulture. Just sitting there on a branch, his wings just hanging limp and akimbo. Then I noticed another lump in a nearby tree. And another up in that one. And down there, down at the base of the hill, what’s that tussle in the long grass? We had half a dozen of the big birds right outside the door, and they were going after something down in the bushes but good. Uh oh. Count the patio kittehs! But try as I might, I couldn’t make out what they were doing. One after another would jump off a high branch and kind of flutter down, nearly out of sight, where a big pile of deadfall crosses over the head waters of a little brook that springs up down there. After a few minutes they’d leap and flap up onto some other half fallen trunk ( we still have dozens of downed trees from hurricane Sandy several years ago ) and just hang out limply, ruffing up their neck feathers and twisting their blood red heads about. Are they fighting? Is this a breeding ritual thing? Is there a large dead animal down there?  I couldn’t tell.

I walked down there this morning, from the road on the other side. Plenty of brambles, but not too steep. It turns out that the brambles grow in arches that form sort of a tunnel network, and that there is a fair amount of flat open ground along the brook. And where there’s a bend, there’s a nice little pool of water about 5 feet across and maybe a foot deep. The birds were bathing in it. Drip dry vultures, who knew?

“Well of course”, says the know-it-all Internet. “And here’s a video, naturally”. And links to amazing photos!! And source documents!!

Well, fine. I swear, the Internet is so vast it can suck the wonder right out of life. But it’s different when it’s 20 feet away, where you can hear it and smell it too. Another day of life here in the wild.

just one of thousands of pictures found online


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/22/2016 at 11:26 AM   
Filed Under: • Animals •  
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calendar   Thursday - April 14, 2016

bears watching

We are under a Bear Warning here.

Not that we’re supposed to run around warning bears ... or of what we’re supposed to warn them, I have no idea.

Just a warning that they are up and about, and have been busting up people’s garbage cans in the homes on the other side of Rupell’s Road. So keep an eye out.


Another exciting moment from Life In The (nearly) Country.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/14/2016 at 11:29 PM   
Filed Under: • AnimalsDaily Life •  
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calendar   Tuesday - April 05, 2016

double bagger

I went to the grocery store a couple of weeks ago to pick up some stuff.

“Did you get kibble for the outside cats? We’re starting to run low.”

“Um, no. Guess I forgot.”


I went to the grocery store a week and a half ago to pick up some stuff. Hey, the store is around the corner, so we go at least 4 times a week.

“Did you get kibble for the outside cats? We’re running low.”

“Um, no. Guess I forgot. Again.”


I went to the grocery store a week ago to pick up some stuff.

“Did you get kibble for the outside cats? We’re running almost out.”

“Damn. I knew there was one thing I missed.”


I went to the grocery store a few days ago to pick up some stuff.

“Did you get kibble for the outside cats? We’re out.”

“Noooo. I’ll get it next time. We’ll give them regular kibble for a couple days.”


I went to the grocery store today t pick up some stuff. I found a really good sale price on the 5 flavor Friskies, and bought a massive 22lb bag. Huge, although I’m old enough to know that it used to be a 25lb bag, and that gave me the “downsized again” grumpies. But 22lbs will hold the little beggars for a couple months, right?

She comes home a bit later than expected.

“I got kibble for the outside cats. I got a huge bag of Friskies on sale because you always forget.”

“Um, so did I.”

So now we have 44 pounds of cat chow in the hall closet. That should probably last until Christmas. One good thing about ferals: they’re too close to reality to ever be finicky about food. If they can swallow it, they’ll eat it, and come back for more.

Our “patio cats” have the thickest glossiest coats. Well muscled, bright eyes, good solid bodies. For “wild animals” they’re pampered pretty well.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/05/2016 at 09:41 PM   
Filed Under: • AnimalsCat Blogging •  
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calendar   Wednesday - March 23, 2016

It’s been more than half a month I think

Dizzy the blind kitteh had another seizure tonight. It was her first one in ... almost 3 weeks I think? Right, since the 5th. The little pills seem to be working pretty well.

But late in the evening, suddenly she was flying around the bedroom, lap after mindless maddened lap. I snatched her up and held her close and petted her until the spasm passed, but she was still loopy and disoriented for a few minutes after that.  Poor kitteh.

And once again the cat is either in heat, or can feel it coming, because she’s been loud and singy for the past 2 days, rubbing her head on everything, constantly underfoot, demanding really firm rubs and head noogies. And boy does she love to get her face rubbed, almost hard enough to take the hair right off. Vagus nerve stimulation? Who knows, but it seems like she’s giving us warning signs ahead of time.

We’ll see if she’s quiet tomorrow, now that she’s had her episode. Talk to the vet. Maybe she needs her meds upped when she starts making all the noise. Maybe getting her fixed would stop the seizures entirely??


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/23/2016 at 10:57 PM   
Filed Under: • AnimalsCat Blogging •  
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calendar   Saturday - March 05, 2016

bad week in kittehtown


the two kittehs taking a nap together between bursts and fits

It’s been a rough and very emotional week for us here in our little condo on the edge of rural NJ.

This was the week both cats were supposed to go to the vet to get spayed. One got there. Neither one had the surgery.

Sniffles, the tiny one with the permanent stuffy nose—I’m trying to rename her Amanda, but it’s just not working—made her appointment, but was hardly under the knife when she had a bad reaction to the anesthetic and started turning blue. So the doc stopped the procedure, sewed her up, and brought her out of it, just to be safe. We’ll try again in another six months. She’s home, isolated in one of the bedrooms, resting comfortably, and being pampered left and right. Two days of that and she’s a loving little purr machine, and can’t wait to get out of the room. Tomorrow, honey, we just want to give the incision an extra day to heal.

Dizzy, the one who was born mostly blind and with a small facial deformity, is in a bad way. We don’t know if the onset of puberty was the trigger or not, but the poor baby has started having petit mal-like seizures. OMG, it’s a frightening and heart-rending thing to witness.

Cats do stupid shit. Cats chase their tails. Cats run around the house at 1000mph, and sometimes they go kind of crazy and leap and pounce all over the place at nothing, as if they were hunting ghosts. That’s cats. This is different.

She doesn’t have convulsions, per se. But she does run in tight circles, spinning around like a four legged figure skater at amazing speeds. Half a minute to a minute of this spinning, her tail and head stretched out straight the whole time while her body gyrates. Sometimes she falls over and then thrashes about. And then, like throwing a switch, it’s over. And she’s scared to death and sometimes wet from heaving up a little phlegm or cat snot or something. So we scoop her up and hold her firmly but gently and pet her and soothe her until she’s calm and has her breath back. And that’s it. And we never know when or if the next one will hit.

The first time was at night in the middle of the living room. We were terrified because there was nothing we could do, and cried our eyes out because ... well convulsions ... this means the end, right? So I get up the next morning and go in to use the bathroom. We’ve learned to not latch the door because the litter pan is next to the toilet, and we don’t want to force the kittens to have any little accidents. Plus Dizzy is totally nosy, and will Kung Fu the door open and come right in to see what you’re doing. And for a nearly blind cat, that means up close and personal. While you’re sitting on the throne!! Cats!!!

So she struts into the room after I’d been in there about 15 seconds, walks a couple steps in my direction, and has another seizure. I didn’t know what to do. “No kitty no!” and I reach over and pick her up and cuddle her fiercely. Her little body is red hot and stiff as an iron bar, and I can feel her torquing against me with amazing strength. So I’m yelling for help, yelling for the wife, still sitting naked on the john. And the cat thrashes herself loose, climbs up my arm and onto my back as I lean forward, and finishes her flamenco de fuego on my back. Untrimmed claws extended. She finally fell off me into the litter pan, and got up a couple seconds later as if nothing had happened. Meanwhile, I’ve got 30 bloody gashes all over me. And I still hadn’t done what I came in there to do!

So we got on the phone to the vet ASAP, and he cancelled her operation. But he was very supportive, and said how there were various tests to do, and a whole assortment of medicines depending on the cause. It is not the end. Since then she’s had 3 more fits. I can’t tell if they’re getting any worse, and they don’t seem to have any schedule. One second she’s fine, the next second a demon has possessed her, a minute later she’s fine but upset, and once we’ve comforted her she’s fine again. And we’re emotional wrecks. Again. There have been a lot of tears here the past few days. She’s going in for blood work Monday. And from there? We’ll see.

The good news is—if there is anything that can be called good news here—is that NJ has one of the best equipped large scale veterinary hospitals in the country. The Red Bank Veterinary Hospital has a staff of more than 80 vets, 4 of whom are neurological specialists. The bad news is that it’s on the other side of the state. The good news is that in NJ, that means it’s only and hour and a half away. More bad news; it’s guaranteed to be mighty expensive. But hey, we’ve got ObamaCat! Just kidding. But we do have health insurance for this kitteh, and it’s from the company that says they pay out without a hassle. So maybe she’s covered. Bad news is, we won’t know until we submit a bill.

Poor kitteh. But we have to do something. And we aren’t willing to lose her. Not yet. No. No no no! So there’s been a whole lot of praying going on here too.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/05/2016 at 10:04 PM   
Filed Under: • AnimalsCat Blogging •  
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calendar   Wednesday - March 02, 2016


That 4 o’clock feeling when it seems that 5 o’clock will never get here.



Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/02/2016 at 05:23 PM   
Filed Under: • AnimalsCat BloggingFun-Stuff •  
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calendar   Saturday - February 20, 2016

PatioKat Spa And Resort Open For Business

"If you build it, they will come.” Ok, I built it, so now I’m waiting.

It’s only a slightly kludgy rig; things fit together pretty well, I did the whole job without cutting the tarp, and as soon as I started playing with the paracord all my old knot skills learned in Boy Scouts came back. Bowlines, clove hitches, taughtline hitches. Cool. Of course I had to use a bit of duct tape. And because of all the insulation and padding on the ground, I elected not to put the heating pad up on a platform. It will stay perfectly dry, and any waste heat is going to keep the whole thing snug as a rug in which bugs hug.

A photo essay on the build. Each picture enlarges greatly when you click on it.

  image  image
two layers of heavy duty tarp.  putting together the foam board insulation from scraps

See More Below The Fold


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 02/20/2016 at 02:55 PM   
Filed Under: • AnimalsCat Blogging •  
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calendar   Thursday - February 18, 2016

must be going stir crazy

Work began today on the all new PatioKat hotel and spa, a five star feral effort coming soon to a back steps near me.

The Ginger Gang (Harry, Big Ginger, Ginger Junior) has been suffering pretty badly this last cold snap. Literally, they’ve been under the weather. The nice chaise lounge up the sidewalk, in it’s weather protected niche and with it’s fluffy old down comforter, has been claimed by their parents Scowler and Brutus. And those are kittehs you don’t mess with. As they say on the street, they’re PWA (pussies with attitude) who protect their turf. As many a midnight scream fest and thumping about outside our windows has proven. So the young guys have no place, other than to all cram together on one plastic garden chair that has a big plastic storage container upside down on top of it. Pretty pathetic.

I looked online for some How To info on feral cat shelters, and most of them show designs made from cardboard boxes lined with foam blocks. Barely enough space for one, much less three, and these cats won’t go into any enclosed area that doesn’t have at least 2 exits. They are the most frightened young cats I’ve ever run across. The slightest noise or movement and swoosh, they’re gone. Panic! Run away!! So I gave it a fair amount of thought, and figured out how to make a kitteh shelter that would sleep anywhere from four to a dozen cats without constricting their personal space too much. And then I figured out how to make it weatherproof. And with central heating. With several ways in and out. And it has a handsome stealth design that fits right in on the patio and even coordinates with the color of the siding on the building. Yeah, I had to spend a little money. But only a little; everything I got was marked down at least 50% for off-season sales, or was a factory inspected return. To finish the project, I need to drive 4 nails, drill 4 small holes, drive 4 drywall screws, and play around with a few short lengths of twine. Oh, and make one saw cut across a 1x6. I’m already thinking of how to build the restaurant ramada. Heck I already have that, I just need to get some scrap lumber to make legs to stand it up on.

These cats. So spoiled. What a bunch of softies the two of us are.

And we’ve gone crazy, I’m sure.

I’ve got the thing assembled in the den here behind me, and it’s impressive. It’s big enough for a homeless guy to sleep in, just. Thank G_d we don’t have any feral humans around here. The cost in kibble would bankrupt us!

See More Below The Fold


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 02/18/2016 at 01:14 PM   
Filed Under: • AnimalsCat Blogging •  
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calendar   Tuesday - February 02, 2016

Boys Are All The Same


I got home to find the vertical blinds moving back and forth in the living room. And to hear some kitteh conversation going on. I take a look out the window, and there’s Harry, out rolling around in the sun and pawing at the glass. Both my girls are fascinated. Especially Dizzy. Who is mostly blind. Go figure. I just thought it was so cute that the both my girls were watching the local wild boy play the fool for their entertainment. Some things are the same everywhere, even regardless of species.

That reminds me ... both cats are scheduled to get fixed next month. It’s about that time. Both on the same day too. Woo hoo, we’re going to have such fun here on that day.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 02/02/2016 at 10:02 AM   
Filed Under: • AnimalsCat Blogging •  
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calendar   Wednesday - January 20, 2016

warmer does it

If Miss Dizzy will allow it, I’d like to

Excuse me kitteh. I’m trying to put together a post here.

No kitteh, not allowed up on the #af’l;askdjffffffffffffjkklem2;m’;ml’;ml234;ml;m


Hey! Don’t do that while I’m ‘wemklqr/.m,qw.,m/.,mlkjlk’;

Gee thanks. Kittehs are always so helpful.


I was just going to mention quickly that the old Satrun seems just fine now. I got it nice and warm before parking it earlier this morning, and when I went out around 7:45 to do my evening job she started right up. And I sat there and let the car warm up, which is something I almost never do. Got me down to Flemington, no problems, then started up again easily and got me home.

For 3 days this frozen week I had only run it for about 90 seconds twice a day. That’s how long my commute takes, including a stopover to put the cap on the electric eye so the power in the guard shack stays on once the sun comes up.

Cat is being extra helpful tonight. She’s very understanding and flexible ... as long as I understand that her needs are to be met instantly and fully without regard to what I might be doing, then she’s flexible enough to allow me to meet all her needs. Somehow an 8lb blind cat has become the boss of me.



Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/20/2016 at 11:29 PM   
Filed Under: • Animalsplanes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobiles •  
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calendar   Wednesday - January 06, 2016

ginger overload


Yeah, one of these days we’re going to have to finish staining the wood trim and then remove the shipping tape from the glass. It’s only been a couple of years so far.

Anyway, Ginger, Baby Ginger, and Harry all stopped by for breakfast. 3 generations of brothers.  The wind yesterday made a mess of the patio, blowing everything over.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/06/2016 at 11:15 AM   
Filed Under: • Animals •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
  1. Keep a firm grasp of Right and Wrong
  2. Stay involved with government on every level and don't let those bastards get away with a thing
  3. Use every legal means to defend yourself in the event of real internal trouble, and, most importantly:
  4. Keep talking to each other, whether here or elsewhere
It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.


Copyright © 2004-2015 Domain Owner

GNU Terry Pratchett

Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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