Guest Post:

(Looking for a home.)

As you all know, we’ve been trying to find a home/rescue for Barney, the stray cat who showed up during a snow storm in January.  I may have a good outcome to report soon.  I’m sorry I can’t post more than that right now.  I want to make sure all is well before reporting all is well.

One of the results of my postings about Barney was an email from Jeff, the author of a blog at, who asked if I would link to and/or host a guest post from them.  I am more than happy to do both and so, without further ado, here is the guest post from  Please visit their website, especially if you’re looking to adopt a pet.

What is is the world’s largest non-profit pet adoption website. We are like an ad agency for shelters and shelter pets. Sadly there are 4 million healthy adoptable companion animals killed in shelters each year due to overcrowding. We do our best to relieve that problem and put pets from shelters in the homes of pet seekers all over the country.

Our website makes it easy for anyone with an internet connection to find profiles and pictures of adoptable animals by location, breed, gender, age, size, and color. Over 8,000 shelters posts pets on our website displaying over 125,000 pets available for adoption at any given time. We also help volunteers connect with shelters, and currently host over thousands of people listed in our volunteer database for shelters.

What Makes Unique:

– On our website, people can use something we call “Search Saver.” This feature will notify users by e-mail when a particular pet of their specifications in available for adoption. For example, I can tell “Search Saver” where I live, and what type of breed I am looking for. When that animal is available, I am notified the next time a pet matching my search is added on

– As of this summer we have now made it easy for our visitors to find pets and then recommend them to friends and family via Facebook, Twitter and other social applications. We are calling the idea “Social Petworking.” Here is how it works; once you have searched and found a pet in need, on the pet details page simply hover over the button labeled “SHARE,” there you can send the pet details page to any of your friends. For more information visit this page

– In addition to dogs and cats, we now feature all kinds of pets for adoption, including rabbits, farm animals, ferrets, hamsters and other small animals, horses, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and even fish. This was a major initiative that took many months to research and program into the site, and it is being well-received within the shelter community.

– By teaming up with the renowned street-artist Shepard Fairey, who designed the iconic Obama “Hope” image, we have available a number of stylish ways to promote pet adoption. Shepard was able to translate his work with Obama to an image that can be used to represent pet adoption support. Merchandise can be found at

– We have begun blogging and created a Twitter Page along with a Facebook Page. Our blog is located at, there you can join our Facebook Group, or follow us on Twitter.

Blog Highlights: has recently begun blogging, and every week we publish posts from two separate columns. On Tuesday we blog about pet care tips, and on Fridays we do our best to find heartwarming stories about adopted pets all over the country.

Here are a few highlights from our blog:

10 Ways To Help Homeless Pet, Even If You Can’t Adopt
What To Ask Your Veterinarian
Good News In Pet Adoption – A Weekly Post
10 Things To Consider Before Adopting

The Experience

The photo is not related to this post.  Just sharing a little more orchid love.

Last night M and I met with friends in Akron for dinner and a concert.  The company was great and the food was delicious.  We dined at The Lockview where, regular readers might remember, they specialize in making a variety of grilled cheese sandwiches.

As for the concert, we went to the Akron Civic Theater (almost just across the street from The Lockview) for Experience Hendrix, a tribute to Jimi Hendrix.  The performers were, as expected, all male and the audience was, as expected (by me) predominantly male.  One of the highlights of my evening was a trip to the loo where I noticed the line for the Men’s room was extremely long (out the door and down the hall) whereas there was NO line at the Women’s.  Now that’s something I have never seen before!

I don’t want to write too much about the concert as it will make me sound like a cranky old woman.  It was ok (she says with a shrug).  It’s not really my sort of thing.  The main reason I went was because I thought M would enjoy it.  M the Younger and M the Elder used to go to these sort of concerts together.  Now that M the Younger has moved out and off on his own, M the Elder needs a new partner and I volunteered.

I will say/write that I like Hendrix.  The main problem I had with the concert was that it was so loud the music was almost unrecognizable.  I realize there must be people who like that sort of thing.  Most of the comments I heard from people (guys) as we were leaving was, “Great concert!”  So, you know, I’m probably not the best person to be reviewing this.

In other news…

Barney is still with us and still not thriving outdoors or becoming any friendlier.  My ad resulted in several inquiries and I’m hoping one of the people who emailed me will be willing to attempt a rescue.  If not, we will be taking Barney to the pound.  It seems the most humane thing to do since we are not going to be able to tame it and bring it in to our home.  Taking Barney to the pound is not our first choice and it is not a decision we’ve made easily or lightly.  We’re still hoping for a better outcome.

One more orchid before I go…

A day in Cleveland

Yesterday M and I spent a fun-filled day in Cleveland.  We have decided to start spending more time in and around Cleveland, doing some of the touristy things we haven’t done yet.  We’ve been in this area for ten years now.  It’s about time we got to know Cleveland a little better.

We began our trip with a stop for lunch on the way up.  We had Reuben sandwiches at Corky and Lenny’s which, although not in Cleveland, is known as a Cleveland tradition.  The place was packed and lively, as usual.  The sandwiches were delicious, as usual.  And big enough that we’ll each be getting two lunches for the price of one.

After lunch we made our way to the Cleveland Botanical Garden for Orchid Mania.  I now have about a thousand more photos of orchids, something I probably didn’t need but couldn’t resist.  I find the variety of colors, shapes, sizes, and scents of orchids fascinating.

Most of the orchids were in the Eleanor Armstrong Smith Glasshouse.  There is a variety of wildlife to be seen in there too, if you pay close attention.

I could spend hours in there, just watching the butterflies flitting around.  I will get the opportunity to do so, too, since M and I decided on a membership while we were there.  That will give us the excuse to go back on regular basis.

We left the Garden around mid-afternoon to head over to the Tower City Center for the Cleveland International Film Festival.  I had hoped to get up early enough in the morning to see Out of Place, but that didn’t happen.  I think I’m still suffering from time change lag or something.  Getting up early hasn’t been happening for me lately.

Tickets for the movie we decided to see, Accident, were listed as standby only.  That meant it was a good thing we showed up early.  The original plan was to buy the tickets and then go off and find something else to do while waiting for the movie to start.  We ended up waiting in the stand by line instead.  Stand by tickets go on sale one hour before the film starts.  We were in line about 90 minutes before the start time and it wasn’t long before the line stretched out pretty far behind us.

The tickets are numbered so you’re better off being at the front of the line if the film is on stand by status.  Pass holders and ticket holders are seated 15 minutes before the start time.  Whatever seats are left go to those holding stand by tickets.  As it turned out, Accident was a pretty popular film and I don’t think too many of the stand by ticket holders got in.  M and I had ticket numbers 3 and 4.  We got in but had to sit in the 4th row which can be a little hard on the neck.

We both enjoyed the movie.  It wasn’t as suspenseful as I thought it might be.  Still, it was entertaining and went fast.  Having recently watched a terrible movie which shall remain nameless for now, the length of time it seems to take is one way to judge the enjoyment factor.  The terrible movie dragged on for what seemed like an eternity.  Accident, on the other hand, seemed to speed by.  The reason we picked this movie was because of a discussion we had a few weeks ago.  I had mentioned to M that we hadn’t seen a good psychological thriller lately.  While looking over the festival films, M found Accident pretty much right away (makes sense since they’re listed alphabetically) which is described as “a psychological brain-twister.”

To cap off our day, we had dinner at Johnny Mango World Cafe & Bar.  This was our first visit.  I’m pretty sure we’ll go back again.  It’s a casual, relaxing, friendly kind of place with plenty of vegetarian options on the menu.  M and I don’t eat much meat and after the piled-high-with-corned-beef sandwich at lunch, a vegetarian option was just the thing.  I had a grilled veggie burrito big plate.  “Big plate” means it comes with salsa, Happy Beans (or beans of the day which were curried black-eyed peas), the grain of the day (jasmine rice), Yucatan slaw, and a grilled banana.  Yummy, yummy, yummy.  And very filling.

That’s about it from the Bogs for now.  We have a busy week ahead so I’m sure I’ll be back with a few more posts about our comings and goings.  Plus I have plenty of orchid photos to share.  It’s nice to be able to look at all this color while things are still a bit brown outside.

Winter sunset

(Yesterday’s sunset.)

Goodbye, Winter…

Hello Spring!  😀

M and I have been working in the garden today.  I’ve been finishing the cleaning up of the asparagus bed while M moves the fence out to expand the garden.  We’re hoping this will be a good year for gardening.

We also started some seeds indoors.  A variety of sunflowers, mostly.  I’ll be starting the peppers soon.  I bought seeds for orange and yellow peppers.  The rest of the seeds I have will go straight into the ground as soon as it’s dry enough to till/plow the garden.  This year I’ll be growing red and green lettuces, romaine lettuce, Swiss chard, and a few different varieties of tomatoes.  I’d like to grow some heirloom tomatoes.  (Note to self:  Remember to look into that!)

There’s no sign of the asparagus popping up yet.  I usually miss the first few spears because they tend to blend in with their surroundings.

I’d better get back out there.  I came in for a short break.  My weary body needed a rest.  I’d forgotten how physically demanding gardening can be.  Just think of all those calories burned…

The Barney Dilemma

Thank you to everyone who made suggestions regarding Barney.  I wish I could say we’ve come to some sort of decision or resolution, but we’re still pondering all of the options.

We have contacted the animal rescue groups/people in our area.  None are taking cats at this time.  That leaves the local dog pound, if all else fails, where Barney will likely be euthanized.  The thought of that saddens me.  It’s a last-resort option and I hope we don’t have to go down that road.

I posted on  We have also checked with our nearby neighbors and none have claimed the cat so far.  At this point I’m fairly certain Barney was dumped/abandoned.

We have not been able to get any closer to Barney.  She is just as skittish as the day she showed up.  I had hoped that feeding and talking to her would settle her down a little but she still trembles when there is a person around.  I had also hoped that Barney would start doing better outdoors with regular feeding.  That doesn’t seem to be the case which rules out the possibility of leaving her outside as a barn cat.  It seems inhumane to me to leave the poor thing out where she will continue to be attacked by the other animals (included with the usual wildlife are a couple of feral cats that have been here for years).  I’m surprised a hawk hasn’t taken her yet, given how small she is and how we lost one cat to a hawk a few years ago.

It’s also possible that Barney’s hair loss is attributable to some type of mange.  Since she doesn’t appear to be very healthy and we’ve been finding large clumps of fur on the porch where she sunbathes in the afternoons.  She scratches a great deal and what we thought might be injuries could be a result of the scratching.

At any rate, we cannot bring her indoors.  I don’t want to expose our other cats to Barney and whatever Barney may be carrying.  I also don’t want another indoor cat at this time.  I don’t believe Izzy and Bella would be very accepting of her (judging by the way they hiss and claw at the window when Barney comes up to visit with them).  I know that eventually they might grudgingly come to accept her, but I suspect there would be more than a few cat fights before that happened.

Up until we adopted Izzy and Bella, all of our cats were strays that adopted us.  This is the first time we’ve had to deal with a stray that is afraid of people and neither of us know how to handle it.  We’ve both done some reading about how to tame a wild cat.  That involves capturing and caging the cat, then isolating it indoors.  To do that, we’d have to take Barney to a vet, something we will have to do if we should decide to try to keep her as a barn cat because she needs to be spayed (or neutered, if she turns out to be a he) and given the appropriate vaccinations as well as be treated for whatever ails her.

I have a few more possibilities, a few more phone calls to make, and then I guess we’ll have to come to some conclusion about what to do.  If you live in northeast Ohio and are interested in capturing, taming, and adopting Barney, please contact me here at the blog.

This is also a good time to let you all know about a new link on my blog.  You may have noticed it over there to the right.  Check out, a non-profit pet adoption charity.  If you have a pet that is not spayed or neutered, check out their article Why Spay or Neuter Your Dog/Cat.  It’s a good way to cut down on the homeless pet population and avoid situations such as the one Barney is currently in.

Signs of spring

(This afternoon’s view of the pond.)

We’re having a gorgeous day here in the Bogs.  It is so nice I put down the spring cleaning gear and went out for a walk around the pond and up to the garden.

The ground is muddy and mushy (boggy) with plenty of water streaming into the pond and keeping the water level higher than usual.  I saw a couple of frogs, a turtle, and lots of fish.  I was on the lookout for snakes hanging around on the sunny side of the pond but didn’t see any.  I heard a red-wing blackbird (a sure sign of spring in this area).  Didn’t see him or her, though.  There are bluebirds flitting around and robins pulling up worms from the ground.

And the flamingos are finally free of the snow they’ve been trapped in for most of the winter.  😉

The daffodils and tulips are shooting up green leaves and the crocuses are blooming full force.

The garden is still looks pretty mushy so I didn’t go in.  It’s supposed to stay sunny and nice over the next few days.  Hopefully things will dry up enough that I can get in there and work on the asparagus.

In other news…

We are trying to figure out what to do about Barney.  She (since M has decided — without proof — that Barney is a she) is still hanging around, eating the food and drinking the water we put out.  But she won’t come anywhere near us.  We will probably have to trap her (we have one of those “have a heart” traps that don’t cause injury).  The problem at that point will be:  What do we do with Barney?

I’m not sure we’ll be able to tame her which leaves out finding her a home.  Our local Animal Protective League is full up with no room for additional cats.  Judging from the looks of her, she’s not doing well outdoors.  She was obviously in a scrap of some kind.  She has a gash on her left side but I can’t get close enough to see how bad it is.  I think it may be just a scratch with a big chunk of fur missing.  Whatever the case, leaving her outside as a barn cat might not be the best thing to do.

That leaves this:

While it cannot be said that the ASPCA is “for” euthanasia, it recognizes the inevitable necessity for euthanasia in certain circumstances. In many areas of the country there are more pets than there are appropriate homes. The ASPCA believes that unwanted pets deserve a dignified, painless death rather than suffer from such cruelties as malnutrition, disease or trauma, outcomes commonly associated with an unwanted and/or uncared-for existence. Similarly, long-term housing of individual dogs and cats in cages without access to exercise or social activities is not an acceptable alternative. Euthanasia must be understood for what it is: a last-step, end-of-the-road option to spare animals further hardship and suffering.

From the ASPCA website

That’s the last resort and I don’t even like contemplating it, but have to look at the possibility.

I’m open to any and all suggestions.

Anyone want to come tame and adopt a cat?

Of Barn Cats and House Cats

Barney showed up during one of the coldest days of a cold spell this winter.  M had been out in the barn and noticed signs that a cat had been sleeping out there.  At some point he also saw the cat as it went running away from him.  He couldn’t get a close-up look and we still haven’t determined if Barney is a boy or a girl.

I suggested feeding Barney but M said no, he didn’t want to encourage it to hang around.  But hang around it did so on the second day, even colder and snowier than the first, M fed him/her.  He also set something up in the barn so Barney would have some warmth.  It was bitterly cold at the time and it seemed like the right thing to do.

I don’t know where Barney came from or how s/he came to be here.  At first Barney looked well-groomed enough that I thought perhaps someone had dumped the poor kitty out here in the country.  It was also possible that Barney belonged with someone nearby but got lost during the snow storm that brought Barney to us.

(The cat in the window.)

M and I have both tried to get close to Barney in hopes of taking her/him to the vet and/or to our local Animal Protective League, but the cat is very skittish and very fast, running away as fast as s/he can to get away from us.  That changed yesterday when I noticed Izzy and Bella spending time with Barney at the windows.

(Hey!  Watch that flash, would ya?)

I slowly approached Bella while she was checking out Barney.  As long as I was there with Bella, Barney was ok with me.   After a few times at this, Barney has allowed me to approach the windows without bolting for the hills (or the space under the porch).  M has moved Barney’s food and water to the top of the spiral stairs so we can watch him/her and s/he can watch us.  Barney has taken to sleeping on the deck at the bottom of the stairs today which seems pretty brave to me.  It’s also a warm spot, with the sun shining on it this afternoon.

Barney is small with beautiful blue eyes.  Up close (and through the window) the poor thing looks pretty scraggly with a bad scrape on its nose.  Cleaned up, s/he’d be a handsome little kitty.  I’m really not sure if Barney is a feral cat or a stray/abandoned cat.  From what I’ve been reading on the internet, feral cats generally take care of themselves pretty well whereas abandoned cats do not.  From the looks and behavior of Barney, s/he is having a hard time of it out there so perhaps s/he is abandoned.

Hopefully we will be able to somehow capture Barney in the next few days and see what our options are from there.  I don’t think Izzy or Bella would welcome another cat into the house so I’m not seriously considering that option right now (no matter how cute Barney looks all curled up on the deck right now).

In other news…

Well, there really isn’t any.  We’re settling back into the usual daily routine after our lovely vacation.  The mountains of laundry are shrinking and I’ll soon be able to call them hills.  Izzy and Bella are thrilled to have us back at home where they can harass us in the middle of the night.

And I’ve already lost two of the vacation pounds I picked up in Florida.  🙂

The Bogs are muddy and boggy with all the snow melt.  The vernal creeks are streaming towards the pond and the vernal pools in the woods are growing.  (To learn more about vernal pools, visit the Ohio Vernal Pool Partnership.)  M said he’s seen signs of daffodils pushing up out of the ground.  I haven’t braved the mud enough just yet to have a look for myself, but will head out there soon for a stroll around the property.  I have to locate my boots first.

I’m not looking forward to the time change this weekend (I always feel like I’ve lost an hour of sleep when we spring forward), but I am liking the longer, warmer days.

(This morning’s view of the pond.)