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The Vine

The Tomato Nation advice column addresses your questions on etiquette, grammar, romance, and pet misbehavior. Ask The Readers about books or fashion today!

Home » The Vine

The Vine: July 19, 2013

Submitted by on July 19, 2013 – 1:19 PM8 Comments


Good time of year to foster little cats, folks! Mabel arrived here about three years ago; now G Force has another couple of kittles in need of temporary housing. Can you help?

I contacted a local trap-neuter-release (TNR) org to find out what I could do, and they came by with a trap. Unfortunately the abandoned kitten was MIA; however, we did trap a sweet and small female cat who I call Savannah. Savannah had her spay and shots on Thursday morning. She spent that night at the vet but they’re now full, and as I’m in the apartment of a family member with severe allergies, I can’t bring her inside. 

Savannah is white, grey, and black, and the vet estimates that she’s about a year old. She’s shy but pettable, and we’re looking for someone to foster her for a few days while she recovers from her surgery.

I can arrange for her to be delivered in Brooklyn this evening around 6, or sometime tomorrow. I can also provide food for her, and help you set up a litter box if you need.

How ’bout it, Nation?

Sarah again, to point mutely at the thermometer here in the 718. I can help facilitate this to a point (I drive a Smart, which is…a variable). If you can help, email me (bunting at tomatonation dot com) or post in the comments. Thanks so much!


I’m trying to recall the names and authors of two spooky, semi-horror-ish books I read when I was a kid. I don’t know when they were published but I read them sometime in the 1980s. I think they were both short-story collections.

One had a story about a girl in a house who heard noises downstairs and barricaded herself in her room. Soon after that she heard a scratching sound at her door that continued for much of the night. She of course wouldn’t open the door because she was terrified. The scratching finally stopped and when she opened the door the next morning, she saw her roommate dead on the floor, her throat slit by an intruder. I vaguely recall two stories from the other book: one was about a girl named Cora and her shawl that had magical death-dealing properties, possibly fire-starting. The other was about a ghost train and/or railroad called Old Hundred, which according to the story derived its legend from a track bombing during the Civil War.

This has been bugging me for years and as much as my memory has been declining lately, I’m lucky to remember even these bits.

Thanks so much for any help you or the readers can give.

The Reason I Keep Everything Is Because I Can’t Remember Anything




  • Jen S 1.0 says:

    The first one is probably in many collections; maybe Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark?

    I’m in Seattle so I can’t physically assist in transporting the kitties, but am sending good vibes that way (and a check to my local PAWS where we got our furbabies)

  • cimblog says:

    I’m fostering THIS!!! 12 days now, 2 days when I got him:

  • Rusty Sieve says:

    I *think* there was a version of the “scratching at the door” story in this collection (Into the Darkness: Nineteen Tales for Telling After Midnight, by Daniel Cohen). It also had retellings of old favorites like “The Black Scarf” and “The Babysitter and the Telephone.”

  • meltina says:

    Ditto for me Jen. Both our cats were rescues, and I’d love to be the one to foster a kitty some day as a sort of karmic payback (because my cats are both awesome, and it’s hard to imagine if they would even be alive if their moms hadn’t been trapped and fostered!). But unfortunately between cats and kids we’ve got our hands full, so for now we’re mostly going the “donate to cat charities whenever we can” route.

    No ideas on the collections, sorry. :(

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    Update from G-Force: the TNR org found a temporary spot for Savannah so she doesn’t have to summer outside the next day or so. We’ll have pics soon and you can have a look for yourselves; I can broker a visit/put you in touch with people/etc.

  • Jen H says:

    Must be the weekend for it: 3-month old Axl landed in my backyard yesterday morning. We went to the vet for the medical all-clear, 1st shots, treatment for a nasty case of ear mites/infection…to the tune of $158 (including his first flea bath and mani/pedi, ’cause go big or go home, amirite?)…Yeah, this li’l temperamental redhead (w/killer pipes, hence the name) is MINE now, y’all. And, because no good deed goes unpunished, as I was typing my account of the Best Day of His Life (so far), the little booger knocked my mouse into his plate of wet food. Ain’t love grand?

  • Jen H says:

    Meant to add: congrats & good luck to Savannah:)

  • Debineezer says:

    Jen H, obviously you’re OWNED now. Congratulations!

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