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Went to see the girls at Petsmart last night. Never ceases to amaze me that Lizzy, whom we feared would not adjust, actually seems to be the best adjusted of them all. Hope they learn to ‘work it’ soon and get adopted into loving homes. They all deserve that.

I just love that Lizzy turned out to be such a lovebug, and I don’t think it’ll be much longer for any of them before they’re adopted. I have a feeling that this is their weekend!


Do you leave a like a stone or something to mark their final places? Just wondering.

We do – every cat we’ve buried has a stone to mark his spot. They’re simple river stones engraved with the cat’s name, and Corbie’s arrived earlier this week.


BTW, did Challenger’s House tell you about donations from last week? I suspect that a lot of people were thinking of you and Fred.

I think the final total was around $850. Thank you all so much for your wonderful donations, they will absolutely go to good use!


I have a question for Friday…or maybe someone can offer some advice before then. I have a very skittish 2-year old female snowshoe mix who was born to a feral mother and rescued when she was about three months old. She will happily sit next to me and let me pet her for ages, but she startles very easily and will hide from strangers until they are gone. She hates being held (but I am working on that by picking her up, holding her and petting her for as long as she stays relaxed and letting her go as soon as she tenses up, to show her that it does not always end with being shoved in a carrier. So…my question is, would another cat help? And if so, younger or older? I normally have a rule that the cats can’t outnumber the humans so this would be breaking that, but if it helps Zola chill out, I’ll do it. Thoughts?

There were a few responses to your question in the comments to Tuesday’s post, and I think that ultimately the overall reaction was that another cat won’t necessarily help or hurt, but it’s hard to know without trying – and if you want to give it a try, fostering would be a really good way to do it.


I know that you’ve done many [reviews] about litter and that the readers have offered many opinions as well. I am looking for something specific though: Walmart used to carry a jug of Cat’s Pride Scoopable unscented CHEAP litter which suited us just fine. However, I have not been able to find it recently. I was wondering if there was a comparable litter that anyone knows of. I need UNscented and scoopable especially! I am currently using Companion which isn’t bad but a little dusty. TIA!

Before I suggest a litter, I do want to suggest that you check Chewy.com and see if they have the litter you like. Free shipping for orders over $49! I get my litter from there every month, and the FedEx guy knows to leave those boxes by the garage. Love it!

The litter I use is Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat, BUT it is not lightweight, and it’s not cheap (well, unless you compare it to Dr. Elsey’s Cat Attract!)

I will add that I’ll be posting a Tidy Cat litter review on Sunday, but that litter is NOT unscented.

SO – who has a good litter suggestion? Let’s hear it! Scoopable, low-dust, and no fragrance… go!


Robyn, I wanted to share this with you in case you haven’t seen it: DIY Cat Bed Tent.

I had seen one similar – this one – which I saved to Pinterest and then pretty much never thought about again (I go through stages with Pinterest – I’ll be all over the boards for a few days, and then don’t even glance at it for months.) I like that this one you linked to has a box as a “base”, to make it more stable. I really need to make one of those, I bet Jake would love it!


I need some cat advice and I hope I could ask the help of the wonderful Love and Hisses community. I’m sorry, but this will be a bit long.

Not quite two years ago, I took in two cats in an emergency situation from a truly horrible hoarding situation. Both cats had suffered a good deal of abuse and neglect. To give you an idea of the conditions, one cat was a five year old female, and the other a year old male- and he’s her great-great-grandson, and had already fathered kittens of his own. They went, separately, into the two small bedrooms of my townhouse. I had hoped they would be fosters, as I am mostly full up, but both cats had issues enough to make adopting them out unlikely.
The female, Kala, who had aggression issues and bad food allergies, has mostly come around, and is nearly at the point that she can be integrated into the household, though she’ll likely always be a bit cranky and reactive.

The male, Caliel, however, is a sweetheart in theory, but I suspect he’s never advanced past a kittenish mental age, and maybe never will. He can’t learn not to knock things over and break things. He can’t learn to play nicely with other cats, and wants to pounce on everyone to get to know them. I’ve tried harness training him, putting up gates for long periods of time, but he just doesn’t understand how to not be a jerk. I really don’t think he’s trying to fight the others, he just really thinks that a whole body tackle is an appropriate form of interaction, and not just with cats. He’s affectionate once he gets to know someone, but he’ll put holes in your clothes because he can’t learn he’s too big to climb people or jump on them.
I don’t know what to do with him. I’d hate for him to have to spend the rest of his life in a spare room, but with his issues, I can’t let him out, and I’ve been unable to find a home for him either.

I don’t suppose anyone has a magic solution?

I don’t have any magic solutions, but thankfully Connie commented and said:

Lots and LOTs of play time.. wear that boy out at least twice a day. Praise the living daylights out of him when he is being ‘good’ and ignore him when he is being bad.. if you can’t ignore him simply put him on the ground with out saying anything or if you feel you have to say something either say ‘ow’ in a meow like fashion (if he hurt you) or a very disappointed tone.

Clicker training might also help him understand.. getting him to understand he can communicate is the key..

THANK YOU, Connie! Any other suggestions, you guys? I’d love to hear ’em!


Packing strap continues to be Best! Toy! Ever!

They’re both fans, as you can see.

I love how it looks as though flames are coming out of the tips of his ears.

Sweet boy. I love the smattering of white furs on his chest.

Well, that looks comfy.

“Look at my foot, Garfunkel. LOOK AT IT. Is that a fabulous foot, or what?”

“Seriously, lady. What you WANT?”


That loony little face is just killing me dead.

Tommy is such a good big brudder.

I think you have to get a little closer to make contact, Tommy!


2014: This is Dennis.
2013: “You know you wants to kiss me, lady.”
2012: Pet store kitties pics.
2011: No entry.
2010: No entry.
2009: Funny the things that will turn unfriendly cats into friendly ones, isn’t it?
2008: Those cats could not have cared less.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



1-30-15 — 31 Comments

  1. Well… I guess that’s what I get for getting behind on the blog! I saw the stone on facebook and said,”Wha? Wait. CORBIE?” Then I found the post announcing his passing. I am so sorry, Robyn.

  2. Corbie’s stone is really nice! I didn’t know you could get those made, that’s a wonderful idea! Do they just do names or can they put something in smaller print on them, too (like dates)?

    • Let me dig up the link and post it in next week’s post – I don’t remember off the top of my head, but I think you can put dates, and possibly even images on them.

  3. Well, i didn’t cry when i read the post about Corbie passing, although i was terribly sad. But i just nearly had a little cry seeing his gravestone, strangely! Poor lovely boy, we’ll all miss him.

    May he dance and caper in those green fields where he is now 😀

  4. The stone for Corbie (and others) is really sweet. My father had gravestones made for each of our animals – rather fancy things out of granite. After my parents passed and their home was sold, my sisters and I decided that we should take the stones. That’s when we realized that in addition to the 1-2″ we could see, there was a good 6″ that went into the ground. Those suckers are heavy! And now the five stones (4 cats, 1 dog) are on my back patio because I have no idea what to do with them. :/

  5. Litter: I have a Petco nearby and use their brand. If you buy the container, you can take it back and refill it at a discount. Been using it for several years now with no issue. Scent free and not terrible dust.

    Adjusting – I feel you. Junior is my problem child. He was live trapped at 3 months old and missed some critical kitten socialization. While he has learned the older 3 won’t put up with him, he stalks Ivy and Spud – not being aggressive but being overly personal. The nice part is, adding Daiquiri, while not solving my problem, has helped. She has grown up here since being tiny and I think views Junior as her dorky older brother. In fact, she was jumping on him this morning. 🙂 So….maybe try it by stages and see if you can find him a friend that will balance out his needs. And I agree – wear him out!!

  6. If you have Amazon Prime, you can order Dr Elsey’s Precious Cat and get it with free delivery. When I ordered a few days ago, it was $14.24 ($15.35 with est tax) for 40 lbs, which I think is a great price! (And thank you for reviewing litter – your reviews helped me find this stuff! I do add baking soda to it, which seems to help with odor control.)

    • I determined, last time I tried to switch litters, that it’s Precious Cat for us from now on. All the cats like it and use it, it does a good job of clumping, and I add activated charcoal to the litter to help with odor control, and I need to just stick with what works!

  7. Re: Zola – my experience with semi-feral cats is that they may never quite chill out to the same level as cats who were always socialized to humans, but they can do a very good job at faking it if given routines enough. They generally prefer interactions that are very ritualized- my Jessie, captured as a feral 15 week old, will curl up next to me and purr and turn himself over and push against my hands IF I’m sitting on the couch, but he won’t stay in the kitchen with me, because the couch is safe and the kitchen is not. I had a feral who lived on the back porch and would press against my side and accept scritches and petting if I was sitting at the edge of the porch, but interaction anywhere else would get me smacked.

    I don’t know if another cat would help, as it depends on the cat, but it seems to me that semi-feral cats like other cats in general and humans only in specifics. I’ve known a few over the years that would only come for attention if I already had another cat next to me to act as a buffer.

      • Me too. And I’m sure I’m not the only one who teared up upon seeing it. Happier tears came from Dennis’s appearance last year and today’s pics of Simon and Garfunkel and Jake and Tommy. And may this weekend be packed with adoptions.

  8. Connie- I’ve tried tiring him out. It’s not that he’s trying to play because he’s bored, it’s that he really thinks that is how to interact with others. I do give him a whimper when he hurts me, and he seems to feel bad about it, but he never quite learns to change his behavior. With the other cats, he could be sleeping next to me, content, but once another cat comes into range, he’ll pounce on them. It doesn’t look like aggression, because he will also try his best to charm them as well, rolling over at them, reaching out paws, but if he can get close enough to pounce, he’ll pounce. He doesn’t get how to be nice, and I don’t get how to teach him.

    To give you an idea of the kind of abuse he suffered, in order to limit his fighting with the other cats in the house (of which there were around 35) and tendency to impregnate others, she kept him locked in a small carrier all the time, only bringing him out to change the newspaper lining. When I got him, his back legs were weak and he couldn’t walk properly. He was still very young, and I don’t know how much of his life had been spent in those conditions, but it had been a considerable amount of time, and he will likely have some leg problems for the rest of his life.

    He’s terrified of new people, which is one of the reasons I’ve never had any luck placing him, or I’d try to find him a home where he could be an only cat. Hopefully a home without a lot of breakables. But there aren’t a lot of folks willing to take a nearly three year old cat who acts like a kitten.

    • I wonder if socializing him with a litter of kittens would work? Kittens usually learn the limits of play-fighting from tussling with each other, right?

  9. Re: litter, I use Arm & Hammer Super Scoop Fragrance Free and it works well for me. I haven’t noticed it being terribly dusty.

  10. I recommend Arm & Hammer… I switched to that after the Fresh Step just got way too dusty for me. It’s nearly dust free and it seems to keep the odor down really well. And it’s cheap, which is also important to me right now.

  11. We were using Fresh Results litter from Walmart for years until they stopped carrying it at our local store recently. When I went searching Google for another source, I found a kitten-fostering site that uses chicken food for litter. Specifically, layer crumbles. Evidently it’s made the same way as World’s Best Cat Litter, but at $10 per 50-pound bag, it’s a LOT cheaper. And if the kittens eat it, it won’t hurt them.

    It clumps, is nearly dust-free, doesn’t have any scent, and does an acceptable job of odor control. We have a very old man cat who wheezes if he uses any clay litter, so I’m very grateful I found the website.

    • I need to remember to post your comment in next week’s post – I saw that same information! I gave it a try with the permanent residents, and they wouldn’t go near it, but I need to try it with fosters!

  12. Robyn-where do you get those stones engraved? I would love to have something like that for our pets that are gone. Is it somewhere local to you?

  13. Just wanted to share a different way of memorializing your beloved cat or dog. This lovely glass artist on Etsy makes Murano-type beads from your pet’s ashes.


    We had one made for my Mum after she lost her darling cat Blue. It was a real pleasure to work with Elise, and she made a bead that was almost exactly the colour of Blue’s eyes. Mum absolutely loves having the bead around her neck so she can feel Blue is with her all the time. She still has Blue’s ashes in an urn until she decides what to do with them, but this exquisite necklace has brought so much comfort to her.

  14. Re Zola: I don’t think it matters much if your cat was feral or not as to whether or not they like to sit on your lap, hide when people come over, or like it be picked up. It’s just cat preference like some people are extroverted and some are introverted. I had two cats who were littermates that had not been feral a day in their life. Neither liked to be picked up. They both hid when people came over. Sometimes they’d come out and sometimes they wouldn’t. And they both preferred to snuggle beside us as opposed to sitting on us. Unless you were wearing jeans – one of my cats loved to sit on jeans. And he’d like to lie on you when you were in bed. I Don’t think that adding a car will change anything. It sounds like these are just her preferences.