2/4/11 – Friday

I’m wondering if any of your three older cats like to jump up on the shelves in the kitchen -(which was a great idea, by the way) – or are their high places days over? Miz Poo doesn’t really jump up anywhere unless it’s to be next to a person (the highest place I’ve seen … Continue reading “2/4/11 – Friday”

I’m wondering if any of your three older cats like to jump up on the shelves in the kitchen -(which was a great idea, by the way) – or are their high places days over?

Miz Poo doesn’t really jump up anywhere unless it’s to be next to a person (the highest place I’ve seen her in recent memory would be the back of the couch – just before she stepped down on me to settle in), and Spanky doesn’t go any higher than the kitchen countertops. Actually, Spanky on the countertops is a relatively new development, and he seems kind of unsure what exactly he’s doing up there. He jumps up, looks around, glares at the cats on the kitchen floor, and then jumps back down. Maxi doesn’t jump up on the shelves in the kitchen, but she’s made the platform in the front room all hers.

She spends a lot of time up there in the evenings and during the days when it’s cold outside. Occasionally Jake or Elwood will go up there when she’s off roaming outside somewhere, but for the most part it belongs to her.

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That might have been me with the initial golf ball suggestion because I remember writing about it here before. πŸ™‚

In addition to the golf balls (which act as “obstacles to the food”), I do more frequent but smaller meals throughout the day which has been very successful. I got an automated pet feeder that can give up to 8 small meals a days when I’m not home – I had one for each cat. I have this one.

Wet food also seems to be less barf-inducing than dry food for my guy. But he won’t always eat the wet food, so I sprinkle a few kibbles of dry food on top, pushing them in a little to embed and coat them in the wet food, and he’ll usually continue to eat the wet food once the dry is all gone.

As well, my barfer is a groomer, so half the barfing was due to fur balls. I got a Furminator brush and it’s really really cut down on the fur balls. So if fur balls are part of the problem, I highly recommend this brush!

Sadly, my big guy who ate all the food was doing so because he had cushings disease (amongst other problems), and he passed away last year. Since then, his brother who is the barfer has slowed down when eating and I suspect it’s because there is no longer competition for that food. So if you can separate to eliminate competition that might help too.

Thanks for the tips, Dee – and I’m sorry to hear about your big guy.

(I second the Furminator love – those brushes are awesome!)

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Curiosity is getting the better of me. Is there a reason why you leave the chicken in the fridge for a few days?

I know with game meats you hang them for a few days before butchering because it tastes better and allows the all the blood to run out. Is it the same thing?

I had to ask Fred for the reason behind letting the chicken “age”, and he said that it’s because it tenderizes the chicken. Judging by the Crockpot Swiss Chicken we had for dinner the other night, I’d say it works well!

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I see you still have the Bookworms. You’ve had them for a pretty long time haven’t you? How long do you usually keep a litter before you take them in to be adopted? The 2 I have now I was only supposed to have for 2 weeks as they were so sick and they would have died at the shelter. They got over the respiratory sickness in about 2 weeks, but then had ringworm. Just finished the oral meds for that yesterday and Luvee developed an eye thing that is now much better as of yesterday. So now we’ve had them a month. They are very social and loving now. I’m thinking they’ll go back on Tuesday. At first we would keep a litter around 2 weeks, but now I’m thinking at least a month is needed for them to be fully social and loving. The ones I had only kept for about 2 weeks seemed to take longer to get adopted and the ones that are here longer were adopted within a week. Thoughts from you my Foster kitty momma Yoda?

March will be a year since the Bookworms came to live with us – they were about five weeks old at the time.

I think that on average, kittens stay with us for about 2 months before they go to the adoption center. There are those who stay for shorter periods of time, and some who stay longer, but 2 months is about average. Really, it all depends on the kittens – some of them come to us perfectly socialized, and some of them need more time. In a perfect fostering situation, they come to us, get over whatever issues they arrive with (almost all of our fosters come to us with coccidia or giardia – or BOTH), and then have a few weeks to have the run of the house, get used to the noise of the TV, decide that the vacuum cleaner won’t eat them (or decide that it will!), and just generally relax into what it’s like to live in a house with people and other cats.

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We need an invisible fence for our barn cats as we are moving. I was wondering what brand of fence you use and how long the batteries last in the collars?

PetSafe makes the fence and collars we use, and this is the system we use.

That’s the fence (which we run along the bottom of the fence in our back yard and around the tops of the gates), and we use both the collar on that page, as well as this kind of collar.

I would say that the batteries for the collars (I buy the batteries on eBay) probably last for at least 2 months, if not longer. You can also find the collars on eBay for less than you’d pay direct from PetSafe.

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Question (and if you’ve already addressed this, I apologize; I promise I’m not a Damn Skimmer!): What does your doctor say is your expected recuperation period following the surgery? You always seem to bounce back really quickly, but I was wondering, with numerous body parts involved this time, if you were going to be out of commission a bit longer than usual.

He told me that it’d be the standard 6 weeks, and I’m hoping it doesn’t take any longer than that because I don’t want my recovery time to mess with plantin’ (the garden) time!

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I’m just writing to my favourite cat blogger/guru with a query. We’ve just adopted two rescue cats here in the UK. They’ve settled in really well and we are loving having cats again after our old cat died in autumn last year. One small query though – one of the cats is obsessed with the water tap (faucet). He will frequently jump on the worktop or sink in the bathroom and lick the tap. Sometime the tap dribbles and he’ll sit and drink any water that comes out. I wondered if you’d had this problem with any of your cats and if anything can be done to discourage him? We put a full bowl of fresh water out every day for them, which they do drink from, but still doesn’t seem to stop the obsession with the faucet.

Any guidance welcome – I just can’t help thinking it’s not too hygenic to be using water from a tap that a cat has licked !!

I was going to recommend getting a cat water fountain (my cats use both the Petmate and the Drinkwell – I find the Petmate to be quieter, so the fountain in the upstairs bathroom (directly across the hall from my bedroom) is a Petmate. They don’t seem to prefer one kind over the other, though. Leonore had some advice (in case you missed it in the comments):

One of my cats is also fascinated with the faucet and loves to drink from it. She’ll lick the actual faucet sometimes but usually she’ll go for the puddle in the sink while waiting for me to turn the water on. She does drink from her bowl but prefers the faucet when she can get it.

From everything I’ve read, this is fairly normal behavior for a cat. There are a couple of theories: the cat prefers the fresher water straight from the tap; she is attracted to the movement of the flowing water; cats like to “find” their food and water, so “finding” running water in the sink is more appealing than the stagnant water in the bowl; cats prefer their water source to be farther away from their food.

As for the hygiene issue, I never really thought of it and don’t really know if it would be a big deal at all. I suppose if you’re worried about it, just running the water hot for a few seconds might wash away any germs left behind. Or you could always keep disinfecting wipes nearby and give the faucet head a quick wipe before using it. But I would probably be more worried about the cat ingesting any chemicals from the wipes!

Oh yeah, here’s an article I found that might be useful for you:

How to stop a cat from drinking out of a faucet.

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So who are the pee offenders do you think? (Or are they all crafty and make darn sure they can’t ever be busted?) I seem to recall you saying Sugarbutt has been guilty of it before. Do some of them get princessy? Hope they settle down soon! What number of cats do you think is good for keeping things stable around your home? (I hope MY looney Jake is not among them… I luurve him, and plan to steal him one day!;) )

Before Monday, I would have told you that Sugarbutt and Joe Bob are the offenders. However, Monday evening I was making dinner and goddamn Joe Bob came into the kitchen and casually backed up to one of the cabinets, sprayed it, and sauntered off. I didn’t realize immediately what he was doing, or I would have had a stronger reaction. As it was, I swore up a storm, got out the spray bottle, and cleaned it up.

Not two minutes later, Spanky walked into the kitchen, backed up to the pantry (diagonal across the kitchen from where Joe Bob had sprayed) and let out a full pee WHILE I STOOD RIGHT THERE. I was so outraged that I bellowed his name, which made him jump and run off, and Fred came running from the other room to see what the hell was going on.

So I can say that Joe Bob and Spanky are the ones who’ve sprayed various spots of the kitchen (I think you can imagine how lovely I find this) and I think Sugarbutt contributes to other spots in the house.

While I blamed the spraying to the large number of cats in the house, it didn’t actually start until after the Bradys went off to Petsmart – which lessened the number of cats in the house – so I don’t know what the hell the issue is. I’m vigilant about cleaning up the spray, and I’ve plugged in Feli-Way plug-ins in various places through the house (though I’ve heard it can take up to 30 days to start working?). The spraying seems to have lessened this week – though not stopped completely – and I’m hoping that this pissapalooza is nearing an end.

I truly don’t know what number of cats in the house would be the “right” number – I think it depends more on the cats’ personalities, and at the moment Spanky and Joe Bob seem to be battling for alpha cat status in the house. I never would have guessed Spanky to be one of the offenders, honestly, it was shocking to see!

Loony Jake would never pee outside of the litter box. He’s a GOOD boy (and I’m praying that just saying that will make it so!)

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Saw this, thought of you. Hope you get over the jumpies soon

6 reasons kittens suck.

So true!

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I had a Robyn/Fred dream last night. I just showed up at your house, since you were always inviting people to just stop by. Not only that, I just walked into your house and waited for you to see me! You were dressed in a football jersey (you had long blond hair and weighed about 100 pounds) and were about to head off to a “player’s meeting”. You said this was your “first day back” but I didn’t ask where you had been, since I didn’t want you to think I was a skimmer! You made me hide in the bathroom when Fred came home and you were telling him about this crazy woman. Then I woke up. The End.

Bwahah, that’s us! Always inviting people to stop by!

Have I mentioned that I love it when you guys dream about us? πŸ™‚

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Taking those babies to Petsmart is one of the toughest things you must have to do, but it’s better for all. I came across this site and thought this might be a good project for Fred (lol).

Cat ladders.

I think we could definitely use some cat ladders in this house!

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Ruby our cocker is a cat chaser. Elphaba has grown up with it I think an older cat would freak. I scold Ruby but nothing seems to work. She doesn’t hurt her just tortures her with the chasing. I wonder if any cat/dog households have this issue and a possible solution? She seems to do it more now than when Elph was smaller. Ruby was less than two when she got here and Elphaba was only four months old when Ruby moved in.

Readers, any suggestions on how to get a dog to stop chasing a cat? Y’all know I have no idea, but I’m sure someone out there has suggestions!

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Hopefully over time things will mesh for you and the pee protests will stop.

The only practical thing I can think of that might help is more litter pans. We have a couple of “two-seater” arrangements, and no problems with random peeing through the house.

And we all know how chic a house full of litter pans is! πŸ™‚

I don’t think that more litter pans would help, since it’s a territorial type spraying rather than having-to-pee. I’m resisting adding more litter boxes to any other areas in the house – but I might be forced to whether I want to or not!

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Whoopie pies! Did you already hear about this? If not, I thought you’d like to know! πŸ™‚ I remember seeing your recipe for these.

Maine legislature takes on whoopie pies.

My favorite whoopie pies are the ones from Wicked Whoopies. And my favorite flavor combination? Chocolate with the white filling. I don’t like all the different fancy flavors.

I very much support whoopie pies as the Maine state dessert! I think the Maine state legislature takes itself a bit too seriously – NOT making the whoopie pie the Maine state dessert is NOT going to stop anyone from eating them, for god’s sake.

(I do like me some blueberry pie, though!)

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I wonder if Miz Poo reminds Alice of her mother?
Just a thought. πŸ™‚

Entirely possible! Have I shared with y’all Fred’s suggestion that Alice is from Martin’s litter? Remember, Martin who Fred captured over the summer? I bet she is his sister – and I’d sure like to know where exactly she was all that time!

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Yesterday, I got to observe the other side of a animal surrender. Another new employee in my training class was late yesterday. He had to rush his dog to the vet after they dropped the kids off at school. He knew something bad was wrong. In the end, his wife and he had to decide to surrender the dog. She needed emergency surgery and $1000s in costs. He’s like me – been off work for awhile, went back to school and starting a brand new job that doesn’t pay a lot.

This was what I saw – a very upset man who had to make the hardest decision. He was worried about the dog, but knew he will never know how she’s doing. He dreaded having to tell his kids when he got home. He was grateful that the vet was able to connect him with a rescue who had foster families lined up for this type of situation. He was so glad, because he said the dog did not deserve to be put down, but he just could not handle the cost.

The animal lovers among us are prone to judge people like my co-worker, but I realized that there are always two sides to the story. My heart broke right along with his yesterday.

Very very sad – I’m so glad that the vet was able to connect him with a rescue!

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It’s great that Alice is now sweet as well as petite! Although now I’m curious as to what Fred’s t-shirt slogan is. Is it the key to his kitten-taming abilities?

I believe it says something along the lines of “No need to yell. I’m still not listening.” He has a large selection of t-shirts with obnoxious sayings on them. I bought a large number of them for him. πŸ™‚

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I dropped Drum and Clairee off at the adoption center yesterday morning. I spent time with Rhyme while I was there, and I also let Heaven’s three small kittens out to play for a while. One of Heaven’s kittens – Flake – has a crush on Rhyme. Rhyme went over to the scratching post and sharpened his claws. Flake did the same. Rhyme batted at a toy mouse. Flake did the same. Rhyme jumped up on top of the storage cart… and Flake sat there and looked up at him and wished she was big enough to do the same! It was seriously adorable.

Rhyme came to me for snuggles several times, but was mostly interested in playing. Seeing him run around and play and seem just generally happy was comforting. He’s such a sweet boy that I really hope he finds a forever home this weekend!

Rhyme, showing Reacher who the boss is.

Sharpening his claws on the scratching post ’cause he’s a good boy.

In bed with Reacher (that’s Corbie in the foreground, obv.)

I lied when I said I was going to share the rest of the pictures I took of Drum and Clairee today. I took SO many of them Wednesday that I’ll share some of them now and then the rest on Monday. I’m not kidding when I said I couldn’t stop taking pictures of these two gorgeous sweeties!

She’s a little bit of a goofball.

Drum, keeping an eye on his wacky sister.

I LOVE her whiskers.

Fred liked Drum’s caramel-colored belly.

I think it probably comes across in the pictures that these cats were in wonderful shape. They were clearly well cared for in the home where they lived for a year, and their father was very sad to be giving them up. One of the things I love about Challenger’s House is that they’ll always take back cats they adopted out, even if it’s years and years after they were adopted.

As sweet and friendly and beautiful as Drum and Clairee are, I expect they’ll be adopted quickly!

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Miss Alice loves to watch those birds!

Silly girl.

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“Who, ME? Pee on the kitchen cabinet? Why, I’d never! I’m sure it was all Joe Bob’s fault.”

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2010: He looked confused and then looked back toward the back forty as though perhaps I was lying to him, and he’d see an army of fish marching toward us to prove that I was a big lying liar.
2009: Dogs like to chew! Who knew?
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: How does one become a house appraiser?
2004: I told Fred about how little things remind me anew of our loss strike me when I’m least expecting it, and I cried again.
2003: And, oh and does fred annoy you? Not any more than I annoy him, probably. πŸ™‚
2002: See something on the floor? Sit on it.
2001: No entry.
2000: Here’s a cute story to satiate your bitchypoo jones until then