Wednesday, July 30, 2008

How We Treat Animals

"Regardless of whether people feel it could ever be ethical to consume animal products, the consumption of them, as they are produced today contributes to cruelty many people would find unconscionable."

This is a quote from Karen Dawn's latest book, Thanking the Monkey: Rethinking the Way We Treat Animals. This book is not lighthearted reading, but it is eye-opening and educational.

In our opinion, the only persons who could enjoy reading about animal abuse would be those who enjoy doing the abusing. Abuse is just not a fun subject. But, unfortunately, animal abuse of all types abounds in this world and changes can not be initiated unless the subject is faced head-on. So, that said, this is a book to read on the subject.

Dawn covers a gamut of abuses: zoos, the circus, factory farming, canned hunting, puppy mills, the capture and "training" of elephants, animals in research .....

The book contains a lot of information. That's why it has taken 3 months to read the book and post this review. We took the time to check out the information on the websites Dawn mentions.

Dawn is an animal rights activist who would prefer we all abstain from slaughtering and eating any animal meat or products, but the book is written more to inform than to convert anyone to her point of view.

This is good since you can guess the Funny Farm isn't planning to go vegan. On the other hand, we are glad we weren't born in China or any other country where dogs and cats are brutally killed and sold as clothing or served as food.

As Dawn writes, "One of the most important things we can do is to be willing to raise our voices and say that what is happening to the animals matters. The power of just one voice can have enormous impact."

Yes, what happens to the animals definitely matters.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Cameron Turns 4

Jan actually remembered today is Cameron's birthday. A little late in the day, and with a little help from us, of course, after she totally blew Merci's big day. Cameron is a little shy about telling his story, so we're going to let Jan do it for him. We borrowed his story from a post on her journal. But first --

Cameron, we love you, even if you can't count past your toes. We're glad you decided to come live with us and we're sorry for all the teasing we've done over the years. You've been a good sport. So .....

Happy 4th Birthday, Cameron!

Cameron was one of five kittens born to the neighbor’s cat. For weeks, I couldn’t walk Merci near the neighbor’s house without the dog begging to visit the mother and kittens on the front porch. She was disappointed each time a kitten disappeared to a new home. Cameron was to remain as a companion to his mother, but she began to wander and Cameron was alone much of the time.

He started sleeping in a flowerpot on my porch and following Merci on our morning walks. One day he begged to come inside. Merci was so excited she jumped up and down, practically stomping Cameron under her feet. My cats’ hissing and growling spoke clearly that Cameron wasn’t welcome. He left with alacrity when I opened the door.

Still, one day he walked in with his friend Merci, climbed onto the dryer and lay down in front of the food and water bowls, where the other cats had to climb over him to eat and drink. That certainly raised the noise level around here, but he stuck it out, until one by one over the course of several weeks the other cats accepted his presence.

I carried him home several times the first week. He would return, staring through the screen door with such sad eyes, I would relent and open the door to let him back inside. When his mother came into the yard, I thought he might return home with her. They chased each other around a bush a few times before Cameron ran to the back door. Then he returned to his mother, rubbed his nose against her nose in farewell, and raced up the steps after me. A few days later, I spoke to my neighbor and Cameron officially became Merci’s companion and playmate.

A few days later, the neighbor's wife took Cameron's mother to the animal shelter. So, basically, Cameron is a rescue; he rescued himself. Otherwise he would have ended up at the shelter too.

UPDATE: We've heard from our ex-neighbor. She left a comment, "Cameron's mother went to my mother's house, not the shelter." That's good news! But we wish she had left her email address.

And now, let's cut the birthday cake! (Merci's and Percy's are in the picture, but we already ate those two.) Help yourself to a slice or two of cake. Sassy baked it.

Sassy also sent him a set of very appropriate kitty videos. Appropriate, as in she is currently on an African safari with Momo, Opus & Roscoe.

Any of you want to watch one? Or two? We can toast some Temptations and raid the fridge. We have ham and turkey. And we saw some..... Oh, we're not going to tell you. You'll have to come see for yourselves.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Merci is 6 or 7

Happy Birthday/Gotcha Day, Merci!

From all of us at JFF - Crystal, Cotton, Merci, Cyndi, Percy, Cameron, Buddy, Samaritan & Rusty

Percy's birthday was the 9th and we shared the cake Sassy sent for him with our guests. Today we're going to share Merci's cake, so when you stop by help yourself to a slice or two. There is plenty to go around.

This is a picture taken of Merci at the shelter just before Jan adopted her on July 22, 2003. There is no hint of the beautiful red-gold fluffy coat she has today.

At the shelter, Jan was told Merci was a year or two years old. Then one day while Merci was getting a rabies shot, Jan decided to ask the vet how old Merci was at that time. He opened Merci's mouth, looked at her teeth and stated positively, "She's a little over a year old."

"But that isn't possible," Jan declared just as positively. She was a year or two old when I adopted her and as of this week, I've had her for 3 years."

The vet checked Merci's mouth again, and said in amazement, "But her teeth are perfect." (He said this more than once in the conversation.)

So Merci is a true female - her age is a mystery.

Jan says Merci arrived as an old dog and changed into an energetic pup. Seriously, Merci didn't run or play. She didn't even know how to play. She was afraid of her shadow. She didn't know any commands or tricks. She's still afraid of her shadow and she's hard to teach because she flops and rolls onto her back in the non-aggressive, please don't hurt me, I'll do anything you want pose. But she learned to play and oh, did she have energy! She still revs into overdrive when she sees a squirrel.

So we aren't sure how old Merci is, but she is evidently anywhere from less than 6 to 7 years of age. And if you're any older, Merci, we don't care. We love you just as you are!

Merci received this lovely card from Rocky, Bear & angel Lacylulu.

And Sassy sent this beautiful bowl early since she, Momo and the Italians Opus & Roscoe would be on safari and out of touch. So Jan has been hiding it for Merci's big day.

Unfortunately, today is not Merci's Birthday/Gotcha Day. Yesterday was!

Leave it to Jan to forget to read the palm pilot Sassy gave her for her birthday or the July event calendar Sassy made for her. Hey, she didn't even read the special events calendar she keeps in her desk drawer. We tried to remind her today but she was "busy." Rusty even said, "Jan, don't forget Merci's birthday." And she answered, "I won't.' But she thought it was tomorrow.

Oh, Jan, we have got to get you to a specialist who can fix the hole in your memory before it all leaks out.

Monday, July 21, 2008

We're Finally Linking

We are finally working on getting our blogrolling link list set up. We know it has taken six forevers to get started, so please have a bit more patience with us. We have to work our way through several bookmarked lists, so if your link doesn't appear at present, we assure you we have only begun, and your blog just might be on a list we haven't reached yet.

We're kind of excited about this. But as we've mentioned before, we live with Jan and she is positively not tech savvy. So we don't have an expert brain to pick when we work on our journal.

We need to take a break now so the doggies can walk Jan, but we will be working on the list off and on over the next century and 3/4.

So stay tuned. We're slow but determined.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Dogfighting And Cat Quirks

We are watching and waiting to see how well the stronger dogfighting law in Georgia works. It is now a felony to own, possess, train, transport or sell a dog for the purpose of dogfighting in Georgia. The law also covers those who bet on or advertise and promote events that include dogfights, and it makes attending a dogfighting event a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature.

This is an excerpt from Jan's July Paws for Pets newspaper column for the local Humane Society. Dogfighting Tip Line: The Madison County Sheriff’s Office, acting on information provided to the Humane Society of the United States through their tip line, raided Shake Down Kennels on July 3, just 2 days after the new dogfighting law went into effect. The HSUS offers up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in animal fighting. If you suspect or have knowledge of dogfighting, call the tip line at 877-TIP-HSUS.

And today, July 17, more good news. The Appalachian Circuit District Attorney's office raided Mountain Swamp Kennels in Blue Ridge, about 70 miles north of Atlanta. This raid was also the result of a tip on the HSUS 877 tip line.

This is a significant case, as its outcome could have a profound effect on several coveted dogfighting bloodlines. You can read about it here.

Buddy, Merci & Samaritan want to comment: Way to go, Georgia! If you know of or suspect dogfighting, call the HSUS 877 # for the tip line. Let's work together to kick some dogfighters' butts!


We've been tagged by Felix, Garfield & Jawsy the Mach Cats to do an unspectacular quirks meme. Hmmm. This sounds like it is right up our alley. And since there are 6 kitties here, we doggies will let them each have one turn.

The rules: Link to the one who tagged you. List the rules on your blog. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours. Tag some blogger friends with links. Leave a comment on their blog to let them know they've been tagged.

Crystal: 1) I like to beat on the closest window when Jan is trying to sleep.

Cotton: 2) I like my bed on top of the fridge so I can throw up down.

Cyndi: 3) When Jan serves us anything other than crunchies, I like to eat mine from a bowl on the kitchen chair.

Percy: 4) I don't let Jan clip all my nails each time. Just some of them.

Cameron: 5) I don't like fish very much.

Rusty: 6) I don't let Jan clip my nails at all.

JFF: No fair, Rusty! You don't have any nails on your front feet!

Rusty: Okay. I'm having a little trouble thinking of a quirk. How about, I like to sharpen the claws I don't have on the wall.
Because it drives Jan up the wall.

Let's see, who can we tag? We're not sure who's already done this one. How about Rocky & Bear, River, Deetz, Skeeter, LC, and Ayla, and the Island Cats.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Happy Birthday, Sassy's MotH

Even though she has temporarily abandoned Sassy and Sassy's sissy/guest Momo, we would like to send very special birthday wishes to Sassy's Mom of the House. She turns another year younger today.

As you can see, we lack a few skills in the photo department, but we hope it's the thought that counts.

So Sassy's MotH, we're all going to sing to you, if you don't mind. Ignore Buddy's howling. That's his idea of hound singing. It comes natural and at least he's on key, which is more than can be said for some of us who shall remain nameless but whose initials are Cameron.

Happy birthday to you.
Happy birthday to you.
Happy birthday, dear Mom of the House,
Happy growing younger birthday to you!

Sassy, Momo, Opus & Roscoe spent all yesterday baking and making final preparations. The party for the Mom of the House is being held at Sassy's. Stop by and have a slice of that yummy-looking cake.

Update: We received these lovely guest gifts from Sassy. She said there are plenty, so we took one of each because we couldn't agree on whether to pick cat or dog art. Stop by and pick up a guest gift of your own.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Farewell Emil

As many of you are aware, Emil disappeared on June 21st and, sadly, in the desert area where he lived, that was the worst of news for his family.

Opus & Roscoe have put together an Irish wake for Emil of the Cat Realm. We're not very good with words sometimes, so we'll use theirs:

We wanted to let everyone know that there is a wake for little Emil. Please stop by and share your favorite memories or photos of sweet Emil. Or, you can simply leave comments for Karl and his family. The wake is going on all weekend at:
Remembering Emil

Emil was Karl's little brother. We all had the opportunity to meet the little prankster. Cameron says Emil's photography genius really came through with his behind the scenes pictures of cast and crew of CCSI III. Cameron said Emil never laid his camera down and when the photos came out, they understood why.

Emil was more laid back during the cruise Rusty took with him and a few friends in May. He and Sassy kept the group laughing.

All aboard!
Photo by Sassy & Zoolatry

But at Karl's lizard BBQ, Emil was into so much mischief. He told Cyndi if she ate too many lizards, she would turn into one, so she won't touch a lizard to this day! She doesn't want to end up on the menu at Karl's next BBQ.
photo by Karl

There are instructions on how to post a tribute, photo or comment, but even if you didn't know Emil, please stop by and leave a comment.

Farewell, Emil. We miss you.

Crystal, Cotton, Merci, Cyndi, Percy, Cameron, Buddy, Rusty & Samaritan

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Percy Turns Four

JFF has 3 birthdays in July, so we're going to incorporate them into one party post, but we'll tell their stories individually. We know when Cameron was born since he was born in the house next door. We know approximately when Percy was born since he was so young, not even weaned, when Merci rescued him. But Merci's age is a mystery.

We're going to tell Percy's story today. This is his day.

A few years ago, while Merci was walking Jan, Jan heard one of those birds that drive her crazy because it sounds like a tiny kitten crying. Merci ran to the old mill fence and used her I-found-a-cat whine. The more Jan tried to move her on, the more frantic Merci's whining became.

And then from under a bush crawled a wee kitten. Merci was ecstatic. Jan raced her to the mill office to let them know she needed help, rushed home to grab a carrier in case the kitten was afraid of Merci and arrived, panting, back at the fence before two maintenance workers arrived.

One scooped up the kitten, searched the area for possible other kittens, unlocked the gate and placed him in Jan's carrier. Jan swears Merci was walking on clouds, her feet never touching the ground, as they walked home. Passersby smiled at Merci, her head high and her plumed tail waving at warp speed.

Percy is Merci's cat. Yep, Merci is the only woofie we know personally who has two rescued cats of her own. But Cameron's story will have to wait until later this month.

Happy Birthday, Percy!

We have trouble believing you ever sounded like a bird, but Merci says it's true. We hope you'll be around for a lot more years.

We've been hiding a few things Sassy sent for our birthday guys and gal. When Sassy gave Jan the palm pilot for her birthday last month, she also sent a calendar with the July dates because -- Well, you know why ... Jan forgets. We just love this calendar she made. Click to enlarge it.

The 3 got these lovely birthday cakes from Sassy, Momo (Momo is spending the summer with Sassy while her SS is working in China.), Opus & Roscoe.

Despite our fridge being nude on the outside, we do have lots of goodies on the inside. Tuna, ham, crab and shrimp, for starters. There is plenty to go around. And lots of cake! We didn't organize an official party. But any who stop by, even if for the first time, please feel free to help yourself. We would just set out the food, but it isn't a good idea in this heat.

Sassy sent this great tree tower. Percy is beside himself. He can't believe he has his own tree.

Sassy, this is Percy. Thank you for the tree and the cake.

JFF: And thanks for reminding Jan so she could let JFF post this in time.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Dressing the Fridge

Okay, we have been taking some ribbing about our nude fridge face, although there have been a few who have breathed a sigh of relief they haven't yet been tagged because their fridge isn't dressed either.

Our friend Poppy Q accidentally tagged us for this meme, so we decided this would be a good time to help Jan feel less embarrassed about our naked fridge by finding her something unbreakable for the fridge face. We think we found the perfect solution.

This is what our fridge looks like at the moment:

Nothing but large metal magnets. Pretty dull and boring, huh?

Well, get a load of what we found to hang on the fridge face. We won't even need to use the magnets that are already there. This guy is self-adhering.


Those kitty humans are going to be afraid to make fun of us any more. We have an Internet guard cat for our fridge.

Now, shhhhh. We hear Jan going into the kitchen. We know she can't miss our new fridge decoration. We should hear her reaction right about ....


What a relief! It sounds as if she likes our decorating idea.

Decorating is hard work. Nap time for all.

Saturday, July 05, 2008


We were tagged to do a meme. We thought about not doing it but that wouldn't be right, so here goes. The truth, the whole truth and nothing but .... Oh, are we going to get in trouble with Jan for telling this.

The rules are:
Show us a photo of the front of your Cold Box and tell us about at least one thing on it and one thing you keep inside of it! Tag your friends and remember to stay COOL! And no fair cleaning it up first!!!

Well, we're really going to be spending the next week in the doghouse for admitting this publicly, but Jan used to keep butterfly magnets, a calendar and misc. notes and recipes on the front of the fridge. However, certain ones of us kitties who shall remain nameless for self-protection like to use the top of the fridge for napping and mock battles. Too often (Jan's words) when we jumped down, we walk our front legs down the fridge before blasting off and knock Jan's things onto the floor. We broke some of her butterfly magnets so she packed the rest away. And she took everything off the fridge except some hardy metal magnets.

So this is what our fridge looks like today. Bare. The shiny spot in the middle of the bottom row is a small magnet.

Now you know our bare fridge secret.

We're supposed to tell about one thing on it -- soft bedding for catnaps -- and something in it -- a bag of organic catnip.

And since we embarrassed ourselves and Jan by having to post a picture of our denuded fridge front, we will try to get back on her good side by showing you a picture of something special she picked up today and stowed in the fridge. After chopping off its head and eating the bloody-looking-but-not-bloody-tasting mess.

We're sorry we don't have anything more interesting to show you, but thank you Taylor CatSSSSS for tagging us.

We're going to tag Socks, Charybdis & Scylla, Victor Tabbycat, PB & J, and Kilroy the Love Beastie. If any of you have already done this meme, you can skip it.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Stars, Stripes and the Eagle Fly

After much wrangling among ourselves over what to do for the U.S. holiday today, we finally agreed on a video.

The song is "Where the Stars and Stripes and the Eagle Fly." It's sung by Aaron Tippin.

While you're celebrating, take some time to remember all our servicemen and women who have sacrificed life and limb through the years to obtain and retain our freedom.

Have a happy and safe 4th of July,
From all of us at JFF ---
Crystal, Cotton, Merci, Cyndi, Percy, Cameron, Buddy, Samaritan & Rusty