One last mention of my Chloe girl who had the parasitic anemia, and a final thanks to you all. When I brought her home, they said it could take two months or more for her red blood cell count to get back to normal. To get there, she’s had her own quiet room as suggested, with lots of love and perhaps some spoiling here and there.
We went for a follow-up blood test today and in less than two and a half weeks, she’s already regained normal levels. I think the doctor was as thrilled as I was. Good wishes do help, and I thank you all.
That is fantastic news! Parasitic anemia has NO chance against the love and good wishes of an internet full of cat lovers, does it? Thanks for the update, Delaney (and kisses to Chloe).
Can we talk litter? Fun topic, I know… I use Swheat Scoop because a) it’s unscented and b) it’s FLUSHABLE. I have GOT to be able to flush my litter, because, I live in a townhome and the trash comes twice a week and my trash has to stay INSIDE. Meaning there’s no way I can imagine having to scoop and not being able to put it outside immediately.
Swheat Scoop is also somewhat dusty and can be expensive, too. What can I use INSTEAD?? Most litters say clearly you can’t flush them.
Is this my cue to ramble on and on about crystal litter and how unbelievably odorless the litter-box leavings are once they’ve been desiccated? If you scoop, like, five minutes after your cat leaves a present for you, then yeah, there’ll be some odor. But if you make sure everything’s good and buried for an hour or two before you scoop, there’s no moisture left to allow the smell to… smell. However that works. (It is, however, NOT NOT NOT flushable.)
I did a bit of cleaning and rearranging and put a new trash can in the back room by the litter boxes, and put a few days’ worth of scoopings into that can. Then I forgot that it was there, so I forgot to empty it to take out to the curb on trash day. It was like a week and a half before I remembered it was there, and even when I DID remember it was only because I saw it, not because I smelled anything!
The brand I use is unscented, though it has its own faintly unpleasant (to me) dry, dusty smell. Other brands I’ve tried, when I haven’t been able to get my regular brand, have been scented, and for a few of them the scent was so strong I’d almost rather smell cat poop.
Crystal litter is a big change in almost all ways from regular litter, and some cats may not like it because it’s so radically different. There are some clumping litters that have crystal litter mixed in; I don’t know how well they work overall, but might be worth a try for odor control. The silica crystals desiccate the urine and feces, and without moisture there is very little odor. /EndCrystalLitterFangirlComment
Thank you, Elayne! I remembered your love of the crystal litter, and had actually wondered if it might be an option here.
I just came across this – Red Rover Relief Grants to help people who cannot afford to take their pets to vets. Since occasionally you post about someone needing help I thought I’d pass it on.
Thank you so much for sharing!
When Kintaro’s (cool name – what’s the background?) picture popped up, the first thing I thought was that this is how Meadow will look when she’s all grown up!
The name came from Fred’s nephew, who is a gamer, so I guess it’s a gamer reference (Google tells me there’s a character in Mortal Kombat named Kintaro, so I’m pretty sure that’s where it came from.)
I was waiting for someone to suggest that he could be Meadow’s father! (I mean, not really – he’s neutered and an indoor cat – but he certainly looks like he COULD be.)
OK, so I just noticed Meadow’s markings, during the milk-bar video. Does she have a white band across her shoulders, and two tiny black wings, or what?? It sure looked like it from that angle!
I have GOT to get a decent picture of the markings on her back – Paula suggested that it looks like she’s wearing a bra backwards.
Where’d you get that litter box? I like the depth and the high sides and the little cutout hole.
Question for you, Robyn: Did you guys cut the holes yourselves in your litterboxes, or did you find some cut open like that already? Thanks!
I spotted one of those litter boxes at Target a few months ago, and thought it might be a good size for our cats. The cats liked it so much that I replaced all of our litter boxes with them! They’re Boots and Barkley brand litter boxes, and they’re 17 inches high, 20 inches wide, and 24 inches deep. I had a hard time getting enough litter boxes because they were always sold out, so I’d stop and look at Target every time I was near one. Eventually, I got all the old litter boxes replaced! They cost $22 each, which is a little pricey for a litter box, I think, but they’re such good, sturdy boxes that I think they’re worth it. (I would provide you with a link to the box on their web site, but it’s not there. Oh Target, I HATE your web site.)
They actually also sell lids for these litter boxes; I’m honestly not sure whether the lids are included in the price of the box, because I don’t use lids on our litter boxes, so I never bothered to bring them home, just left the lids on the shelf at the store.
They come in medium blue and white. I prefer the medium blue, but was happy with what I could get, so I’ve got some of each color.
Here’s a picture of one of them, with Miz Poo for reference (you will be kind and pretend you don’t see the dust on the top of the litter box or the scattered litter that needs to be vacuumed up, I trust) :
If you’re looking for a high-sided litter box and don’t want to spend $22 on a box, you could alternately do what we were using before I discovered these litter boxes. These are what our old litter boxes looked like:
These buckets are called “Party buckets” at Lowe’s (you can find them at Walmart, too), and you can use a box cutter to cut the hole in the bucket. I made the switch to the Target litter boxes because I think they give the cats a little more room, and I also think they’re sturdier than the buckets were.
Alternately, you could buy a big Rubbermaid storage container and cut a hole in it, and use that for a litter box. I don’t use anything that big only because I need to be able to move the litter boxes around to clean under and behind, and to empty the boxes.
How deep do the you fill your boxes Robyn and how often do you do complete litter change outs?
When I’m doing a complete litter-change out, I fill the boxes about 4 inches deep. I’ve come to the realization lately that the cats seem to prefer it lower (maybe 2 – 3 inches), so I think I may start out at 3 inches and just add litter as I need to and see how that goes.
I do a complete litter change-out about every 6 weeks (staggering it so as not to overload the garbage men), but wipe down the sides, top, and backs of the litter boxes themselves about once a week with a spray of half vinegar and half water.
I know this is a cat place, but I think we’re overwhelmingly animal lovers here – so I wanted to share this story and the Facebook page for hopefully updates. Tissue warning! (Also the standard disclaimer about donating with care, etc.)
They’re in your general area so you may be familiar with it already, as it seems the media is picking it up pretty quickly.
I had seen that story, but completely flaked on sharing it! That poor dog – she’s so lucky that she found someone to help her.
I had not noticed this before, but does Meadow have little white stripes inside her ears, or is that just a trick of the light? Reminds me of the way tulips sometimes have those little white “seams” running inside the petals.
She does have white stripes inside her ears! That’s another thing I need to get a picture of, a close-up of her stripes.
I was just going to ask about this (labeling with names) – so how do you keep track of what chicken in the freezer needs to be crock-potted/etc vs. what can be fried/roasted/baked?
I generally just write “roaster” or “stewpot” on the freezer bag (along with the date it was put into the freezer) so that I have some idea of what I’m dealing with. I have been known to just write “old!” on the bag. As long as I write SOMEthing on the bag, it tends to work out. For some reason, when Fred processed our very first rooster (McLovin), I was compelled to write his name on the bag along with the date. Months later, I looked at the bag and thought “What is that supposed to MEAN? How old was he? Am I supposed to cook him for a long time or was he young? I don’t REMEMBER!”
Do the belly rubs help tiny tummies with digestion, or is it just pure bonding and affection?
It does both, it helps with digestion and with bonding, but I do it because it’s SUPER relaxing. Seriously, I’d put a 10 minute kitten belly rub up against a professional massage any day!
When the kittens start eating kitty food but still park themselves at the ‘milk bar’ are they actually getting any milk? Is it more just a comfort and habit to suckle theirs Mamas ?
They’re actually getting milk – as long as there are kittens nursing, the mamas will continue to produce milk. I’ve had mamas who’ve had to go off to Petsmart before their milk dried up because they’re so patient with the kittens continuing to nurse. When Maggie went to Petsmart, Lisa told me that she let Maggie out of her cage and some of her kittens out of their cage, and she turned away for two seconds. When she turned back, the kittens were nursing. I had to put a note on Maggie’s cage telling the cleaners and adoption counselors not to let them nurse so that her milk would dry up!
Have you seen this video yet? The kittens could be related to Norbie, plus the way he joined Khaleesi’s litter is very similar. Aren’t kitties such wonderful, amazing creatures?
I had not seen that – that is such a wonderful story! Kitties really are amazing.
If you think kitties get mad for being forced to wear silly hats, they’d be furious at being thrown like bouquets. (I believe all the kitties were photoshopped, which is why it’s so hilarious.)
I think I need to renew my vows so that I can carry a kitten bouquet down the aisle!
Kintaro can’t climb the bottom gate and squeeze through the gap? Really?
I was wondering that too. Can we see more pictures of the gate setup? This might solve my problem of keeping Trixie seperated from Tuxie and Sabrina while giving her the entire upstairs to roam.
Kintaro is not a climber. But if he was, we’d move the top gate down so that there’d be no gap – and if need be, we have a third gate that we could put at the top. We’ve done that before and while it’s a pain to deal with if I need to go upstairs, it works really well at keeping cats contained.
I don’t think Kintaro could pull the gate down – the gates are in there really well, they’re pressure-mounted gates. We’ve had adult cats climb the gates all the way to the top of the doorway without pulling them over.
And here are a couple of pictures of the setup.
There’s a 2-inch gap at the bottom (it looks like the gate is higher, it’s hard to tell from the picture that the gate is just above the bottom step) because it allows us to put the top gate that much higher, so we can just remove the bottom gate and limbo under there (we are not as limber as we used to be). Also, the gap between the two gates makes it so that I can reach through to the lever. We’re both up and down the stairs pretty often, so if the gates were stacked one on top of the other, one of us would have to let the other one through, and that would be a HUGE pain.
If this were a more permanent situation (and I am thankful that it is NOT), I would have nagged Fred into building a screened door to hang in that doorway that we could have just opened and stepped through.
Where did u get the mouse scratch thingy I see on the wall. Its way too cute. 🙂
That is a Pet Select Scratch, Rattle and Roll scratcher. I got mine at Publix (which is a grocery store, for those who don’t know), but you can find it on Amazon. It’s also available at Walmart, at least according to their web site. I hang mine on the wall, but it would also hang easily on a doorknob, or can just sit on the floor. The kittens love to jump up and hang from it.
2012: For something that would sting me in the eye if given half a chance, it’s got an awful lot of nerve pulling a cute maneuver like that.
2011: BUGS Tuesday.
2010: (And yes, we DO call them “Busta Rhyme”!)
2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: No entry.
2006: The little black Momma kitty we first saw a month or so ago was back, this time with a friend.
2005: When does this get easier, again?