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Y’all, Katey has a question that hopefully you can help out with.

I’m in the process of trying to catch a stray momma cat with three kittens (not tiny, maybe 8 weeks old). The local cat rescue gave us some Havaheart traps, and we got the mom but no kittens today. We ended up letting her go so that she could tend to her babes overnight. We’ll set them up again tomorrow. I’m worried that she won’t fall for the whole trap thing a second time. The kittens are super skittish, they obviously haven’t been around people. The mom is calmer (she has made imploring eye contact with me through the window) so I think she was someone’s pet at some point. Its been getting down to 15 degrees at night here (!) so I won’t be sleeping well until I know these guys are safe and warm. Any tips on trapping cats would be appreciated.

Katey lives in Massachusetts. Do you have suggestions? Feel free to leave ’em in the comments – or if you prefer to email me, I can forward it to Katey. I haven’t done much cat trapping myself, so I don’t really have any tips. I figured you guys might, though!

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Do you dream of kittens?

What’s the percentage of orange kittens that come your way? We recently lost our noble orange tommycat and I’m jonesing for orangeness in my life!

(Edited to add: another Challenger’s House foster mom, Heaven, currently has THE most gorgeous orange kittens at the moment! I’m not sure what her settings are on her Facebook page, but it’s certainly worth becoming Facebook friends with her just to see those sweet kittens!)

The only time I dream of kittens is when I have fosters that aren’t doing well. The week before last, when the Brady Bunch was doing so poorly (especially Bobby and Jan), I’d go to sleep and dream that I was getting up and giving them medicine, or that I was getting up and scrubbing the floor in the foster room, or that I’d forgotten to give them their medicine. It was not particularly restful sleep, as you can imagine!

A quick check of the 32 fosters I’ve had this year shows that only 3 of them – Gavin, Garrity, and Lieu, of The Rescuees – were orange. So, 9% or thereabouts (some years it’s higher, I think 9% is probably on the low side).

But if you consider the number of strays who’ve shown up at our house and hung around – Maxi, Newt, Jake, Elwood, Roscoe, and Coltrane, the percentage is a little higher, at about 33%. Well, unless you count Lieu in that number (he showed up, but he didn’t stay), then the percentage is around 43%.

Annnnd if you consider our “permanent cats” population of 12 (if you count Coltrane, which why would you NOT consider Coltrane, since SOMEONE has been inviting him inside more and more frequently lately), 3 1/2 of them are orange (or buff, which I consider orange enough)(the 1/2 being Spanky, who has orange on him), which gives you a percentage of about 25%.

One day I’ll probably go back and do a more exhaustive inventory of our fosters and how many of each kind of cat we’ve had (because I find it an interesting question, and I’d kind of like to know the answer), but off the top of my head, I would guess that the largest number of our fosters are brown tabbies. For sure, if you consider that we have 21 cats in the house (counting Coltrane, obv) with fosters and such, we have a current brown tabby population (if you include Bobby, Cindy, and Jan, since they have brown tabby patches) of 38%. And a black cat population of 9.5%. A gray population (if you include Reacher and Joe Bob, who is gray and white, but more gray than white) of 19%.

Y’all feel free to correct my math; my head is spinning.

You see how I can go on and on and ON about this stuff?

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Thanks for the heads up awhile back about the “Room With a View“. I managed to snag one this weekend for my kittehs for Christmas. They are going to LOVE it.

I hope everyone who wanted a Room with a View from Jeffers got one when it was half price last Saturday. Had I remembered, I would have posted something in my Friday entry as a reminder!

I ordered and received mine, too. I plan to put it in the foster room, but I’m going to polyurethane it before I (Fred) put(s) it together, to protect against the inevitable pee from a tiny kitten who doesn’t make it to the litter box in time.

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I got an update on how Jack and Percy (formerly Starsky and Hutch) are doing. Check out those adorable pictures!

Just a quick note to let you know Percy and Jack are doing great. They are a huge barrel of laughs and sweet (when they slow down enough to cuddle with them). Funny thing is that my parents came to visit and see the live action this weekend. So what happens? They slept and looked as energetic as my 8 year old, round 3 legged cat!!

For Christmas Vacation movie fans……..

Do you hear it? Its a funny squeaky sound…
You couldn’t hear a dump truck driving through a nitroglycerin plant!
Shh, I hear it too…

Oh wait – – no squirrel needed. Just insert Jack and Percy in their favorite Christmas tree. It is still standing strong but not for their lack of trying! It was only a matter of time until they figured out that big green plastic tree was more than a decoration. Even better, I haven’t really discouraged their climbing/wrestling antics in order to get a great Christmas picture!

On another funny note – – Kiefer is dying for the kittens to sleep with him but he is in a bunk bed. So kitten time in the bunk has been limited and I have stood nearby so they don’t jump out.

So the other day, shortly after Kiefer was in bed, I hear him yelling. Oh god – – you would think a monster came out of the closet. Nope. Jack climbed the ladder to the bunk. all by himself! Lovely. Did I mention Jack is the wildchild!!??? So now, papaw is trying to fast woodshop an exit system on the bunk for the kittens so they won’t jump – – should they visit again while I am not around. I am sure with all the coziness of the bunk (blankets, stuffed animals, quiet) – – they will go again!

Thanks again for the update and pictures, Kiefer and Jen. It’s great to see how well those boys are adjusting! (I’m shocked that Jack is the wild child. Shocked, I say!)

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Sights from around Crooked Acres.

Jake in the kitchen, trying to decide which way to go. (Check out the calendar pic!)

Jake and Elwood, up high.

Jake and Reacher.

“Go away now, please.”

“Is it cookie time yet?”

Black pig has made himself a comfy sleeping place right in front of the trough. You never know when food’s going to show up, after all.

Uh oh, it’s a hawk!

And another one! It’s a good thing George and Gracie are on the job, am I right?

Yep, definitely a good thing. I bet those chickens feel super safe!

“No, dear, your toes don’t ‘look funny.’ That’s what chicken toes are supposed to look like!”

Pretty rooster.

George gets some water before he heads back for another nap. It’s a rough life.


What we have recently made for the cats.

Cardboard scratcher. I followed these directions, cut up a couple of old calendar pages for the outside, and will probably never do it again. It took for-freakin-ever. The cats seem to like it well enough – they use it – but the money saved vs. the time it took to make was certainly not worth it.

Platform up high in the corner of the front room – with steps to get up there!

Up goes Jake.

And up followed Buster (before he went to his new home, obviously).

“I’ll just sit here so they can’t get back down.”

Plans include another platform opposite this one, with steps up to it as well as a walkway between the two platforms. Eventually, I expect there’ll be a walkway around the entire front room.

We’ll never be quite as neat as The Cats’ House nor as brightly colored, but I love seeing the cats’ reaction when they see that they have a new place to climb to and hang out in.

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Jumpin’ Bobby. This picture cracks me up, because he looks very frog-like.

That blanket Cindy’s reclining on has a heating pad underneath it (the cord has a protective plastic cover on it), and when I walked into the room, she couldn’t be bothered to get up to greet me. Greg was like “She’s hogging the heating pad!”

“I am wittle! And I was cold!”

Playful Bobby.

A kitten in the sun is a warm kitten, and a warm kitten is a flexible kitten, as you can see.

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It’s gotten super-cold (for Alabama) lately, and so Fred’s been convincing Coltrane to come inside for longer and longer periods of time. I suspect it won’t be long before he’s spending the night inside. I’d complain, but he’s such a good, laid-back boy when the other cats get up in his space, that there haven’t been any fights that involve him. YET.


2009: The many faces of Mike Teevee.
2008: Delmar always looks so SMUG.
2007: And to you I say, because I really like Elle (NO we’re not adopting her!) and I have started calling her Ellie Belly and I want to have her around for a little while longer, so shaddup.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



12-10-10 — 18 Comments

  1. Thank you sooooo much for the smiles and laughter this morning! Gracie in the leaves c-r-a-ck-e-d me up!

  2. Ohhhhhhh kittens in the tree, killing me. Dying from the cuteness.

    I’m wondering if my husband would be on board with building cat platforms.

  3. I have no idea if this would be at all helpful to Katey, and this probably won’t be at all helpful for trapping that cats, but I did come across this little shelter that perhaps could be left outside until a means for catching them is found?


    Figured it couldn’t hurt to suggest it!

    The kittens in the tree remind me of when we first got our cat, and around christmas we let her ruin our fake tree. I’m miss our tree (we wouldn’t want to deal with getting a real one), but it was so cute to see her climbing it!

    • Sofia, thank you for that link – I had seen that (or one like it) in the past, and of course couldn’t remember where I’d seen it. I was trying to tell Fred exactly how those shelters are made, but of course couldn’t remember all the details!

  4. Who is Roscoe?

    I put it into the search on the side but it only came up with this post. I don’t believe we’ve met him (her??)

    *is most excited*

    • I thought I had written about him! Roscoe showed up in the spring a little before Coltrane did. I’m sorry to say that I took him in to be tested and neutered, but he tested positive. We had to have him euthanized, unfortunately. He was a very sweet boy and very very pretty. I had him cremated, and we scattered his ashes beside the garden.

      • Oh, that’s sad. I am sorry, but I’m glad he knew a little love and affection before he passed x

  5. So many beautiful pictures and so much going on at your place. We love the platform on the wall. How we wished mom would do one for us too! Have a good weekend.
    Many purrs,
    Siena & Chilli

  6. Thanks for the links, guys.

    No luck with the cats today. Didn’t see them. A white cat I’ve never seen before (Daddy?) came by though.

    I put out two Havaheart type traps, end to end with a sheet covering most of them so it looked like a long tunnel. Baited with tuna. But no cats. We’ll try again Monday, (I didn’t mention that they’re out back of my WORK…) the back of our building abuts the backyards of the houses on the next street, so I think its highly likely that the cats have been bedding down in someone’s garage.

    When I was putting the traps out I ran into the woodworkers who have the space next to us, and when I explained what I was doing they said “Oh you’ve seen them too!” So at least some other people in the building know of my intentions.

    • I would put more tempting food for a few days – maybe a week. You can put regular wet cat food, chicken, etc. Do that for a few days, and just check on it daily. Get them used to going in – i think the babies will eventually do in too. THEN set the trap to close. Wild kittens are the hardest to catch, imo.

  7. I love the steps on the wall going up to the bed!! WOW!!! That’s just so excellent!!!

    What a brilliant post – thank you for sharing news about the adorable Jack and Percy – they are looking so happy in the tree!! Great to see them!!!

    And look at your pigs and chickens and sweet George and Gracie! Awwww!!!

    Hello to the ever so cute Bradys!!! Take care x

  8. Love all the photos, including the chicken and pig pics! Do the chickens just jump down onto the dogs when they are asleep in front of the chicken house door?

  9. I received your card in the mail today! Thank you for perking me up!! I’m still trying to find the “purr”fect card for you . . .

    Linda Harner

  10. I’m curious, did the plastic covering on the heating pad cord come with it, or is that something you did yourself? Chewing on cords is my #1 behavior problem with my foster kittens and I’d love some plastic tubing like that, but I don’t know where to get it.

    • I bought these cord protectors a couple of years ago to put over the cords to appliances in the foster room.

      They’re nice and heavy, and there’s a seam along one side – you basically just wrap it around your cords.

      My only gripe is that the “citrus scent” is kind of unpleasant. But it does keep the cats from chewing on cords, so it’s a worthwhile trade-off. πŸ™‚