This place has been quiet for 33 days, which is the longest I’ve ever gone without publishing something here. I might have gone longer had I not decided to make heart-shaped Jell-o cookies in six different colors for both Julia and Lucy’s Valentine parties at school.

Jello Cookies for the Valentine Parties

Look at them!

Okay, they don’t look like much, especially compared to Helen’s. (I found the recipe on her blog.) But they tasted great. And they were a lot of work, which is why I’m showing them to you now. They represent an entire day of my life.

Along with the cookies, the girls took the valentines they made for their classmates to school. Lucy made handprint hearts.

Lucy's Handprint Heart Valentines

Julia made origami lollipop hearts.

Julia's Origami Heart Lolipop Valentines

Meanwhile, these two have been sleeping together.

Kitty love

*Remember that song?

Cats of all kinds.

by Leslie

Julia and I don’t have the best track record when it comes to Valentine boxes.

Remember The Unicorn? I don’t even have a picture of last year’s box because it was supposed to be a cat that ended up looking like a bunny and it was at the last minute and the arguing and whining distracted me from capturing that beautiful memory.

This year was much more successful. I did not argue or whine! Mostly, I stayed out of the way and let Julia do it herself. I did give her a deadline (we’re just no good at the last minute stuff), helped her Google for ideas (she liked the Valentine Kitten box from Calling All Sleepyheads), and dug up some supplies. Then she created this:

Julia's Valentine Box

She is exceedingly proud of it.

Meanwhile, I took my favorite picture ever of my real cats Picasso and Holy Guacamole!

Picasso and Holy Guacamole!

I love this picture because it captures so perfectly the dynamic of their relationship which is:

Idiot cats

it’s hard to feel tense
around a napping kitty
(unless you hate cats)

Snoozing kitty on a puzzle

most human beings
require medication
to be so mellow

Napping kitty on a bench



And then Picasso was like, “Oh, are you photographing me? Allow me to pose.”

Posing Picasso

“Here’s my best side. Oh, the tail. Are you getting the tail? Like, the whole tail? I cleaned it for about fifteen minutes before I fell asleep.”

And then Holy Guacamole! was like, “Um, don’t forget about me over here! Hey! Hey look!”

Holy Guacamole

“Cute Show starting in 3…2…1…”

Holy Guacamole being cute


Holy Guacamole says, "You know you wanna pet this."

“Okay, you realize now is when you’re supposed to pet me.”

And I did.

This is a terrible picture of our two calico cats in our blue chairs

we have two blue chairs
we have two calico cats
who love our blue chairs


by Leslie

I posted the following video, How I Ended Up With Seventeen Kittens, a little more than four years ago.

Of course, we didn’t give away all seventeen of those kittens. The truth is, few people give a rat’s ass about cats. We had more people offer to come and shoot them for us than we had offers to adopt them. Only some of the cats were adoptable, anyway. Some of them were pretty feral. Instead, we got them fixed and cared for them ourselves.

By 2009, we had fixed nearly thirty cats (give or take a few, courtesy of the drop-offs we’d gotten, the handful of adoptions we organized, and the cats we couldn’t catch right away). Thirty cats. And you know how hard it is to catch them (and to pay for them).

Now, three years and a whole lot more spay/neuter surgeries later, I can finally, for the first time, tell you that all of our cats – and by that, I mean every feline that shows up at dinnertime to eat at our house – is fixed. Some of them, we’ve fixed and never seen again. Others, like that very first wild cat we couldn’t catch right away, are still hanging around, lounging on our porch and enjoying the comforts of our garage.

To some people, that makes us crazy idiots; to others, heroes. To me? It makes me able to sleep at night. Tonight, I will sleep better than I have in more than four years.