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148 people* emailed, commented, messaged, and smoke signaled me to let me know that JETHRO TULL IS NOT A ONE-HIT WONDER BAND.

Sorry for that; clearly I was too busy with my Donny Osmond obsession** to pay any attention to the goings-on of Jethro Tull back then. When I glanced at their Wikipedia page last week, I only recognized the one song.

(I will, however, continue to call the kittens The Wonders, because I like the sound of that more than I like the sound of The Classics.)

*Slight exaggeration. It was probably more like 15 people.



Hi Robyn! Just telling you that I was on Buzzfeed and guess who I saw? Clove and Macushla snuggling! Kitten Hug #21

Aww, I love that picture so much! (And I love BuzzFeed, too!)


The Wonders are looking pretty comfortable, by the looks of it. Do they get along with one another?

They get along great! They play together a lot, and often when it’s nap time, all three of them pile up together in a bed. Considering that just last week Molly and Jethro were hissing at TC, I’m thinking maybe they realized that he’s their brother.


I happened to get Purslane’s banner today – she looks a bit more raccoony than Molly with black around both eyes, but there is the resemblance – as there is with dear Miz Poo!


I think Molly is the spitting image of her Auntie, take a look!


Jethro’s look-a-like is Meadow.

All three of these kittens have lookalikes from the past, and I’ll throw together some comparison pictures for Monday’s post!


Did Dennis supplant someone in the bed? Is Miz Poo growling at him all night? I have a 50/50 chance of waking up to Riley growling at Norbert some time in the wee hours.

No, Miz Poo usually starts out her nights in her heated cube (in the front room), and wanders into my bedroom in the middle of the night so she can jump up on one side of me, tromp across my pillow (yanking my hair in the process), end up on the other side of me, and then sneeze in my face before settling down. If Dennis hasn’t already moved to his cat bed at the end of the bed before she shows up, he knows to skedaddle before she gets too close. She’s got a mean right hook for an old dame!


A couple of questions for outsourcing. We adopted a 5-month-old kitten a couple of weeks ago. He is super-sweet and friendly with us and our 2-year-old daughter, but our girl cats seem overwhelmed by his, um, advances. Some back story: The older girl, Gravy, is around 7 years and the younger, Widget, 1 year. Gravy lost her best friend, our 10-year-old male cat, a couple of months ago and Widget was a semi-feral rescued from our street (she’s very sweet but gets friendly with us on her own terms). The two girls tolerate one another quite well but aren’t super-close, and they avoid our toddler (Widget avoids most people), which made me sad enough that I wanted to get a pet she could actually interact with.
Enter Chopper, the little boy. Both girl cats are pretty submissive, and Gravy especially has always been affectionate with other cats, but this boy LOVES other cats (I mean, he LOVES EVERYONE. HIS LOVE CANNOT BE STOPPED!) and he does not hesitate to chase them to inflict his love on them, which results in freaked-out hissing and spitting on the girls’ part (but fortunately no all-out fighting — yet). Any suggestions for helping everyone get along a little better?

My other question: Little Chopper is afflicted with some runny poops. He had a bout with giardia right before we got him, but was treated and has since tested negative for it and other parasites. He gets pumpkin and a probiotic in his food, but it hasn’t seemed like it has helped a lot. I’m in touch with my vet (he went just over a week ago for a check-up) and I’m waiting to hear back from her now, but I’d love all the help I can get for him. Thanks in advance for any help you can offer!

Kirsten said: Not too much advice(and have only been partially successful with Norbert bugging my older cat) – try to give the girls plenty of places to escape-vertical space is helpful, like a tree or wall shelves like Robyn has. Also, tiring out Chopper might help-think of it like making him go to the gym a couple of times a day. If you don’t already, have a structured playtime with da Bird, or a string, balls if he’ll run after them. It sounds like he might be pretty young – perhaps just growing up and out of the rambunctious phase will help. No idea on the poop front! Good luck 🙂

I absolutely agree with Kirsten – give the girls room to escape, and exhaust Chopper. He’s got that crazy kitten energy and probably doesn’t know what to do with it all!

As for the runny poops, I would have recommended the probiotic and pumpkin, so you’re already ahead of me! You could try pectin – the same stuff they use in canning, it’s usually found in the baking aisle. Add 1/4 tsp to some wet food, let it sit for 15 minutes (very important), then feed it to him. It doesn’t always work for me, but it has worked often enough that it’s in my bag of tricks to try. You also might try Slippery Elm (which you should be able to find at a health food store). It’s a powder, and you can make a “syrup” out of it, following the instructions here (scroll down, it’s toward the bottom of the page).

Sometimes, even though a fecal shows no signs of Giardia, it’s still present. If the diarrhea doesn’t resolve with the probiotics, another fecal is probably called for. In my experience, it can often take more than one round of medication to really get rid of the Giardia. (Also, Giardia is THE DEVIL, and I very often see it hand in hand with its evil friend Coccidia. HATE that stuff!)


It looks like Grandma’s got some cloudiness in her eyes. Understandable given her age but does it bother her?

GD said: if I recall correctly, she can see just fine. It was caused by lashes growing on the inside edge of her eyelids. It scratched her eyes. Fred and Robyn had it cauterized so that eyelashes would no longer grow there, but the damage was done. No pain and still good vision!

GD recalled exactly correctly!


Is it me or are all of these kittens thick as bricks? (couldn’t resist)

They’re all so doughy and solid looking. Maybe it’s that stage but considering how dainty mom is, that’s surprising.

I can’t give you weights on them, because I haven’t weighed them at all since I got them, but I do know that TC (who is the largest of the three) was 2 pounds, 8 ounces last week. Jethro isn’t far behind him, is my guess – they’re both very solid, muscular boys. Molly, on the other hand, is a light little thing, who very much takes after her mother. She’s all eyes and ears, that one.


okay, do you seriously put down placemats for the cat’s snack time?? I was impressed they all got their own plate, but their own placemat too.. that is impressive..


I love all their little placemats! And I think you and I have the same snackin’ time bowls! From Walmart?

I do put down placemats, because when they eat they can be kind of messy. I got tired of having to pick up all the little pieces of food when they were done eating. The placemats are the rigid plastic kind (I bought a bunch of them at Target and then cut them in half), so I can just pick up each placemat and plate together, and rinse off the placemats, then store them for the next morning. I would actually prefer to have cat-themed placemats (it would be more appropriate, right?), but the ones I’ve seen are more than I want to spend on that kind of thing, so we’ll stick with what we’ve got.

And yes, those plates all came from Walmart. They’re the perfect size!


Happy kitties! Are they quiet wait-ers or do you get deafened by the snackin’ time howling? If I had more than one like my Angus cat, my ears would be bleeding and I’d have bruised shins from all the head butting as they attempt to herd me back to where the bowls are despite seeing me get food out of cabinets on the other side of the kitchen for about 3 years now… Elsie cat just sits quietly near the bowls and just waits, but Angus sees snackin’ as a full contact sport.

They’re pretty quiet, actually, although sometimes Corbie will be overwhelmed with the waiting (because obviously I don’t move nearly fast enough) and will start howling. Jake walks around and rubs against any cat who’ll put up with it. Sugarbutt and Tommy actually just lay down and wait. I should do a video of it one of these days.


I saw in the 2011 post that you were using Cat’s Pride lightweight litter. Are you still using it? Still recommended? I really need to find a less dusty litter than what I am using (Tidy Cats multi-cat clumping).

I actually am not using the Cat’s Pride lightweight litter any more. As it turned out, most of the permanent residents just didn’t like it. I started it in one litter box, then expanded it to two, and then three, trying to convince them to use it, but the same two cats who didn’t have a problem with it (Alice and Miz Poo – Miz Poo is the sweetest girl ever, I swear I could use live bees as litter and she’d use it without complaint) would use it, and the rest would stick to the other litter boxes. So finally I gave up. I’m using Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat litter, and it’s pretty close to dust-free. I recommend it, though some people have complained that it doesn’t keep down the smell as well as other litters. I haven’t had that problem (probably because I add activated charcoal to the litter boxes and scoop several times a day).


So, I have had 2 kitties for a while. Abby came to me 3 weeks old in 1999. I wasn’t aware she was that young, she survived, we’ve moved past it. Atilla came to me in 2005 or 2006 shortly before we moved to AZ from the east coast. They bonded on that trip for the most part.

I got a puppy, Crockett is almost 1 and a chiweenie mix. He is nuts but fun. Abby chases him a little but is hissy/growly. For next friday, how do I get them to like each other better? Thanks! Would be nice if I could trust him in the room they’re in without worrying about them ganging up and hurting him when I’m not there.

I would recommend making sure that the cats have a way to get away from the dog – a cat tree or cat shelves, or even the back of a couch – just so they don’t feel cornered by him. Also, I’d make a point of having a special treat time that involves all three of them, where they each get treats so that they associate each other with something positive (this only works if they’re all food motivated, of course.)

I’ll be honest, I don’t have a lot of experience introducing cats to dogs and figuring out how to make them get along, so if anyone out there has advice, please share!


I didn’t get the Sherman, Herman, Thurman, Ethel joke. Please explain….

You’re supposed to immediately think “Merman” (as in Ethel Merman), but you might not be 100 years old. 😉


From Charlene:

Thank you to the reader who gave wonderful suggestions when I asked for feedback last week for my Tuxie t-shirt design. I especially loved her suggestions for other cats to feature. I need to find the appropriate graphic for those, but once I do, I’ll definitely be doing some of those as well.


Pretty pretty girl. The progress we’ve made with this girl has been very slow. I do believe she’ll be getting the room to herself this weekend (we’ll put the boys in the bathroom or in Fred’s room), and we’ll see if that encourages her to be a little more friendly! Don’t worry, though – we’re only separating them for a little while, it’s not a permanent thing.

“How YOU doin’?”

Sunny whiskers.

Three little monkeys.

Did I mention that Jethro actually climbed into my lap of his own volition Wednesday evening? And then, Thursday afternoon, TC did the same. Yay! I also snuck a few kisses in on those boys, and neither of them freaked out.

Hanging out next to the litter boxes because, why not?

“What? Is comfy!”

That looks like a dead rodent TC is hanging onto there, but it’s actually a toy made of rabbit fur. All the kittens love that thing.

Silly, sweet boy.


It’s a Newtlebug, struttin’ along doin’ the Newt thang.


2013: How do you like it NOW, Jake?!
2012: “This holiday season, it is very important to keep your teeth flossed. I like to use this hanging stringy-rope thing which hangs here all handy like.”
2011: Sugarbutt put up a leg to block the snuggle…
2010: No entry.
2009: “I will kick your fuzzy gray butt.”
2008: I hope they don’t forget me.
2007: No entry.
2006: “The stinkin’ little kittens are GONE! Woohoo!!!”
2005: No entry.



11-28-14 — 10 Comments

  1. Live bees for litter! That made me laugh out loud, then I felt bad for any kitty who had live bees for litter–then I laughed again!

  2. Live bees for litter! That made me laugh out loud, then I felt bad for any kitty who had live bees for litter–then I laughed again!

  3. You must have read my mind Robyn !!! I was going to ask if you were sending Christmas cards this year !!! I love getting the cards !! I use them throughout the year as bookmarks !!!

  4. Thanks for posting my questions! Different food appears to be helping Chopper’s GI issues, and we’re doing a lot of playing, but more suggestions are welcome!

  5. For the person who posted the litter question-I use Cat’s Pride scoopable. It’s cheap at Walmart so good for me. I only have one cat and she seems to like it just fine. It doesn’t smell much (except if you get a whiff of freshly used) and the dust isn’t too bad. I have to pour slowly and evenly. All in all I would give it a 7 or so. I DO like it’s clumping ability and the container says it’s flushable though I have never done that.

  6. Oh Newtles, I think you are just one fine, fine looking man cat.

    I must admit to being totally smitten by TC. Look at the front arm hangin’, wide-eyed, smooth flirtin’ look on that round little face… All he needs is a red velvet smoking jacket and a martini.

  7. Thanks for posting my q too. I have the cat food/litter at the back of the house and that room baby gated off as well as the door to my room baby gated and then when I’m asleep or in the back of the house, have a gate I put up in the hall so Crockett can’t get to the front of the house. Abby and Tilla do escape to the back of the couch/chair also. I need to get a cat tree when I have more $$. I guess I just have to give it time, which I can do. They’re already getting along a bit better, Tilla doesn’t hiss everytime she sees him. Abby is VERY food motivated, but a lot upsets her tummy. Maybe I can do babyfood for everyone just to see if it works. Great idea!

  8. I love Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat litter, but it is true that the blue bag version (unscented) does not keep down the smell as well. HOWEVER, the pink gab aka scented does…and without your kitty smelling like a flower! 🙂